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Various Artists – Animate Selection Volume 2 (Animate Dummy Recordings)

Animate Dummy Recordings returns with the second installment of their ‘Animate Selection’ compilation series.

Animate Selection Volume 2

The melodic techno and intelligent electronica arena got some new life this year with birth of Animate Dummy Recordings. Launched in August by Ukrainian producer Flying Point the output of the labels first five releases has been exceptional. September saw Animate Dummy with its first ever compilation entitled ‘Animate Selection’ which included a broad range of cutting edge electronica from artists such as Tool8 and Futur-E. Now for the labels sixth offering we see the second installment of the ‘Animate Selection’ series. The first contained a healthy assortment of five exclusive tracks while the new edition has grown to nine. Featured on the compilation are Flying Point, Dawad, Masahiko Inui, Bessiff, Nicholas D, Erreome, Ambrela, Aaron Decay and Kjeld Langeveld.

While the first edition of ‘Animate Selection’ focused strictly on techno productions the latest one is a little more varied and it’s quite welcome. All the artists have delivered what is some of their best work to date. The first track is by the labels owner and founder Flying Point. I’ve been a fan of his work for a few years now and his past productions for Agara Music and Blendwerk have been incredibly detailed and also quite emotional. His latest entitled ‘Surreal Particle’ carries the same pristine production and crunchy electronics that should have all the sound design aficionados drooling. It’s tough beats, eerie melodies and esoteric rhythms all come together for a very worthy dance floor construction as well; one that gets the compilation off to a strong start. ‘Alpha’ by Dawad is next and continues the floor friendly techno theme but with a much more playful energy and shimmering melodic outlook. It’s the ideal track to setup the collections first electronica piece ‘Distant Memory’ by Masahiko Inui. The six minute excursion into abstract beats and gnarly textures is stimulating to the least. Amidst the somewhat sinister design are moments of glimmering beauty though and the contrast is what makes the track so special.

The collection then shifts it’s focus back to the dance floor with three cuts from Bessiff, Nicholas D and Erreome which all have their own unique qualities. Whether it be the intricate melodies of ‘Arpeggiate’ by Bessiff or the warped, metallic vibe of Nicholas D’s ‘Child Inside’ there is a lot to like and ultimately appeal to many adventurous electronic music fans. Erreome’s ‘War Letters’ is the shining light of this trio though. The Spanish producers grand and almost soundtrack style techno is light and uplifting. Following a string of effects heavy productions it hits at exactly the right time in the collection. The lead pianos and blissful chords are a match made in harmonic heaven and that wonky three tone rhythm is just enough contrast to keep it from sounding too cheesy. Great stuff from Errome.

Next up we have another one of my favourites on the compilation ‘Emerald Shine’ by Ambrela. The Russian producer is equally adept at creating futuristic techno as he is liquid-like Drum & Bass. ‘Emerald Shine’ as you probably guessed is the former and what a gorgeous slice of crunchy, abstract techno it is. It’s grating rhythms are incredibly compelling and there’s something about the lazy hypnotic keys which roll over that rough underbelly that’s magical. The heavenly sounding pads don’t hurt either and add to a very worthy second half apex. As the collection is now winding down we have a much more electronica style cut in ‘Boulevard Berthier’ by Aaron Decay. It’s bubbly textures and effervescent qualities provide a nice twist in the road in setting up the final piece Kjeld Langeveld’s ‘Blizzard’. Certainly the most driving and energetic production included on the compilation ‘Blizzard’ seems like the ideal track to close it off. It’s galloping groove and morphing rhythms make for an electric ride and the waning chord changes are great head bobbers. A second half of playful melodies get interwoven for a great sense of ending and exhilaration which caps off the compilation nicely. Animate Dummy have slowly been making their mark this year and this second installment of the ‘Animate Selection’ will only help expedite their rise through the underground. Highly Recommended.

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