Reviewed: V/A – Self-identified non-male artists making experimental electronic music (Hyle Tapes)

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On ‘Self-identified non-male artists making experimental electronic music,’ Hyle Tapes has collected together a compilation of 34 female and non-binary artists.

Opening with the stunning electro-smeared sing-sighs and ambiguously sad/blissed atmosphere of ‘UK Border Diocese’ by Abençoada, the rest of the mixtape doesn’t disappoint. The highlights are many, and include the drifting ambient hum and echoing, subtly manipulated piano notes on ‘Abandodo’ by Caminauta. The bird-like conversational bloop-song of Christine Webster’s ‘A Bird Meme.’ Urgent melancholic acid squiggles on ‘Fight or Flight’ by Coldnose. Heather Celeste’s ghostly kosmiche dub-techno on ‘Objekt 2.’ The echo-laden voices floating in the beautiful bubbling synthscape of ‘In Dreams’ by Paper Dollhouse. Rasping sweeps of bass like an electric cello accompany clattering metallic rust-percussion and squeaky toy strangling on ‘Berlin’ by Cubop; its incomprehensible background muttering tops off this surreal and troubling delight, bringing to mind James Ensor characters sifting through seaside town tat-debris in an Ostend junk shop.

It’s a deep shame that the mere gathering together of these non-male acts for a compilation is a political act. This collection perfectly disputes lazy male-heavy festival line-ups and club-nights. It is also a wide seed-bed for your musical imagination. A base for further investigation. 34 destinations on a much larger map.

You’re too late for the tapes but buy the download here.

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