Various Blisscent 1

Who would have ever thought that the "shoegazing" scene of the early '90s would have carried aftershocks so long after the initial impact? The blend of dreamy guitar-based sounds and hushed vocals pioneered by artists like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive is a style that is still reinventing itself, as seen on this compilation of diverse bands. Also dubbed "dream pop," it would be hasty to dismiss this music as a one-trick pony. Sure, there are textbook examples of the genre heard in contributions by Air Formation, Francis 7 and Malory, but the field widens with Skywave's darker, Psychocandy-esque rock, Collete Carter's electronic-based pop, or the more direct rock of Twigs' "Trouble Me Too" pulling more sonically from Velocity Girl than the Cocteau Twins. It goes without saying that the majority of the tracks on this release make the influences easy to guess, but by no means does this belittle the music these bands make. The artists on Blisscent 1 are mostly U.S.-based, but some are imported from the UK (Lorna, Air Formation), Germany (Malory) and Norway (Twigs). Canada joins the party thanks to Vancouver's Readymade and their great track "The Block Alone." Overall, a great compilation of bands rooted in an oft-overlooked musical movement. (Blisscent)