Rob Da Bank / Various Sci-Fi-Lo-Fi: Shoegazing 1985-2007

Rob Da Bank / Various Sci-Fi-Lo-Fi: Shoegazing 1985-2007
The third volume in Soma's Sci-Fi-Lo-Fi mixtape series finds BBC Radio 1's Rob Da Bank compiling "shoegazing" tracks from 1985 to 2007, or as he puts it, the "ethereal, beautifully soupy sounds that inspired his formative years." While the concept is a cool one, considering the lack of shoegaze comps out there, if the idea is to give an overview of the "scene that celebrated itself," the DJ's song selection misses the mark. Some of the movement's key 'gazers are wisely included, such as Slowdive, Ride, Pale Saints, Lush and Chapterhouse, most represented by signature songs. Additionally there are trailblazers like the Jesus & Mary Chain, Cocteau Twins and Ultra Vivid Scene, as well as "nu-gazers" like Ulrich Schnauss, M83 and Maps, who take things up until 2007. But the list of party crashers almost overwhelms the guest list. Dinosaur Jr.? Dean & Britta? Spiritualized? Even more perplexing is the inclusion of Boards of Canada, which just breaks the rules. Maybe my reaction about what qualifies is a bit anal but when My Bloody Valentine, early Boo Radleys and Swervedriver, or even boundary pushers like Curve, are all absent red flags are raised. As for cohesion, well, every critic versed in this music feels they could be truer to the concept, but Da Bank has compiled a group of classic tracks. At least he got that right. (Soma)