Various Artists, Blue Light One: An Upstairs Recording

By James Keller

In an age seemingly dominated by down-tempo DJs and melodic beats, it’s hard to separate yourself–especially when you’ve been thrown on a compilation disc with one song to prove your worth. However, the artists on Blue Light One, all currently being produced under the Nettwerk subsidiary Upstairs Recordings, attempt to do just that. And, overall, they succeed. All seemingly under the school of thought that simplicity is brilliance, tracks like The William Caslon Experience’s "Valice," an ambient trip through a virtually lyricless eletronic landscape, are contrasted with more urgent, but perhaps more stripped-down tracks like pom’s "4play." This continues, linking tracks together through common atmospheres, but beaming with originality by the subtle intricacies that set them apart. Overall, this disc is just a small sample of the music awaiting you if you accept the invitation to head upstairs.

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