- Stroboscopic Artefacts is run by an Italian (Lucy) and based in Berlin, but it's never seemed beholden to any particular place. The music on the label seems to exist between zones—on the one hand, it's often been dance floor-focused, but it's also ventured into experimental ambient and noise, a mix of sounds best expressed on the 2012 Stellate series. The label's latest compilation, Flowers From The Ashes, assembles artists making "contemporary Italian electronic music," each of whom occupies a unique place within their scene.
Silvia Kastel comes from a world of experimental electronics released on DIY cassette labels. Marco Shuttle makes deep techno with lots of texture and a mystical feel. Alessandro Adriani's EBM and industrial influences are all over his Mannequin label. Chevel's techno flirts with UK-rooted bass music, as heard on his recent album, Always Yours. Whatever these artists' distinctive styles, the tracks all share a strong sense of personality. As such, the compilation encompasses a rich spread of moods and ideas.
Lucy's nagging, polyrhythmic techno on "Starving The Mind" is offset by a spectral, modulated horn. (It wouldn't sound out of place on an EP by Shuttle.) The acid electro of Adriani's "You Will Not Be There For The End," is the most energetic cut by some margin, but he finds space for lingering pads that muzzle the track's sharp bite. Lory D, the longest-serving Italian artist gathered here, channels his Italo and acid tendencies into the bittersweet peak-time workout "PRV-HH3-X."
The mood is mellower elsewhere. Shuttle's live bass lumbers through a smog of reverb. Ninos Du Brasil work their signature batucada drumming into a tempered roll with distorted chants. Chevel and Caterina Barbieri go further out into beatless synth exploration. The former's track, "Friends Electric," is all uplifted, '80s-derived digital tones, while the latter evokes the spirit of downtempo '90s electronica. Kastel's contribution takes the prize here, though. The spellbinding "Errori" is a beautifully sculpted fusion of organic and electronic tones, as beguiling as they are soothing. It'd be unwise to infer too much from a ten-track compilation about the state of "contemporary Italian electronic music," but Flowers From The Ashes would be a fine ambassador.
01. Silvia Kastel - Errori
02. Andrea Belfi - Spitting & Skytouching
03. Marco Shuttle - Lux Et Sonus
04. Ninos Du Brasil - Noite Atrás
05. Alessandro Adriani - You Will Not Be There For The End
06. Chevel - Friends Electric
07. Lucy - Starving The Mind
08. Lory D - PRV-HH3-X
09. Caterina Barbieri - Virgo Rebellion
10. Neel - 4G