TheLetterElectronic Music Guide

Nothing Is Real Vol.1 label compilation
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Kicking off their official* second year in business Italian label Nothing Is Real celebrate with a compilation of accessible Electronic Pop songs. This sweet, seven-track showcase of label friends and emerging talent, including Kasper Bjørke's side project The Mansisters, will keep fans of Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound or Jennifer Cardini's Correspondant output contented.

Label heads Alberto Iovine and Alessandro Fumagalli (aka Modular Project) kick things off with Nothing Is Real, and a single note bass line that underpins the entire track, at once invoking a trance-like vibe and setting the mood for the next six tracks. Appropriately then, Black Swan by, arguably the most recognisable name on the list, Kasper Bjørke (alongside Sexy Lazer as The Mansisters) uses a bold bass line to demand focus. And once all the other elements converge, it sounds like one of these hipster outfits that play Techno with real instruments (nothing wrong with that). I'm sure someone is also playing the Zampogna! Collectively though, they make a fine groovy noise, all low-and-slunky.

Argentinian musician Alejandro Mosso demonstrates his vast experience with a delightful excursion in Electronic heaven. Tom-toms and a haunting synth take hold before a finger-picked guitar melody steals the top line, later embellished with a deeper bass drum.

Built on a delicious, driving bass line, Vespertines Unite, the collaboration between Low Manuel & Local Suicide, sounds like a contemporary update to some long forgotten Kittin track, particularly with the distinct European accent chanting the song title. This is easily the strongest track here.

Low Manuel follows up with his own track The Dust and, like The Mansisters, it cuts an analogue shape with what sounds like a real bass guitar coupled with some digital wizardry; all very fitting. However, Eleonora disrupts this flow with what is essentially a massive, sad, syrupy Pop song; it's absolutely beautiful too. It wouldn't sound out of place on a Spotify playlist, yet it somehow still manages to work in the context of this compilation... genius!

There's been plenty of admiration lately for Barker's Debiasing EP what with his approach to making Techno without using a kicking bass drum. Well, Dharma (Rhys William Buckham) does exactly that with his fine closing statement Light Rain. Like walking naked through the park, scattered drops tinkling on your skin; invigorating stuff!

All in, an emotional package and one that should deservedly raise the profile of this fledgling label.

  • Rating: 8/10
  • Listens: 11
  • Highlight: Vespertines Unite
  • Label: Nothing Is Real
  • Release Date: 24th December 2018

* they have been trading in some form since 2013

Nothing Is Real Vol.1 label compilation

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