Various Documenta

Documenta is a three-part compilation where each CD focuses on a particular facet of contemporary music. This being the first in the series, the compilers selected electronic music producers both well known, like Mum, Marumari, Arovane and Phonem, and lesser known. The selections on Documenta tend to be down-tempo and ambient with some up-beat exceptions. Isan's "Ampule" sounds very much like a Marumari tune, as it is very exuberant-sounding with pop music vocals done in a way the latter is known for. "Moth," by While, is a nice melody with a pared down music box simplicity, though one can also detect some reverb added in order to give the piece a fuller sound. Arovane's "Ambelio" has appeared on at least one other compilation and happens to be a bubbly tune with skittering clicks but lacks the customary aggressive breaks he's known for. Mum's "The Ballad of Broken Birdie Records" is the best track on the compilation, as they demonstrate how to make a laid-back electro-boogie tune with chopped up vocals and smooth breaks. Phonem's "Bitstream" was a surprise, since he is characterised for his muscular IDM breaks, but this time he goes for down-tempo beats. Overall, Documenta is a good comp to ease in those not overly familiar with electronic music and who may want to start off with music that is less confrontational but still quite good. (Peacefrog)