Various Artists 10 Years of Phonica Records

Various Artists 10 Years of Phonica Records
9
Phonica is a record store first and a label second, and with only nine releases to date, the focus of this compilation is undoubtedly on the ten years spent feeding interesting house music to the hungry London market. The sheer scope of 10 Years of Phonica Records says a lot about the importance of the store as an institution in electronic music. With nearly four hours of largely unreleased material from a unique blend of house legends (Joe Claussell), enduring new-school staples (Legowelt, Loshea) and recent signings to the label, the compilation is both ambitious and cohesive. Despite selling and supporting a wide range of music, Phonica has always had a sound. 10 Years of Phonica draws largely on the synth-heavy, primarily dance floor-ready, internationally aware electronic music that the store does best. This is not to say the compilation sounds homogenous; indeed it is deeply dynamic from start to finish. Each disc has its own clusters of songs that explore something fresh and most remain intriguing after multiple listens. Like any good vendor, the comp has a few duds hiding away, but they are easy to forget in the face of the sheer volume of quality electronic music on display here. It is hard to know what a compilation for a record store should look like, but 10 Years of Phonica Records gives an emphatic answer. (Phonica)