Various All Tomorrow's Parties 3.1

As All Tomorrow’s Parties becomes bigger and bigger as the years go by, one thing has never changed about the festival: it is still the most consistently inspired music festival in the world, without a doubt. It’s also nice to see that Barry Hogan and co. have realised the worth in releasing compilations to represent each festival as either keepsakes for those in attendance, or summaries for those who weren’t. With past curators like Sonic Youth, Autechre and Shellac having already compiled their own discs, now here comes Simpsons creator Matt Groening with a track listing that reveals just how cool the animator really is. Though the songs may not coincide with the year 2003 — when his edition of the festival took place — the song selection is an impressive one despite the fact that most are not exclusive to this record. Of course, it is nice to have Sonic Youth’s version of the "Simpsons Theme,” which, though only 46 seconds is by far the standout. Although they’re only album tracks by the likes of the Shins, Modest Mouse, Elliott Smith, Deerhoof and the Magic Band, Groening has amassed a fine group that works nicely with a strong mix-tape vibe. The unreleased "Drake Hotel” by Jackie-O-Motherfucker (which sounds like band practice in a bird sanctuary) may be the only unreleased cut on 3.1, but just knowing who’s responsible for this collection, as well as the special cover and poster he’s designed to commemorate it, makes it a curious little gem that die-hard Groening fans shouldn’t be without. (ATP)