Various - WorldWideWindow

  • A sprawling benefit compilation on Neel's label captures techno's reaction to this surreal moment in history.
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  • The coronavirus will hang over art like a dark cloud for years to come, long after the world finally gets past it. But what about art made during the pandemic? In electronic music, there's been a glut of charity compilations rushed out to aid various relief efforts. WorldWideWindow is different. Organized by Neel's Enisslab in collaboration with Sebastian Mullaert to benefit the Italian Red Cross, the project asked producers from around the world to use whatever equipment they had at home to make music that reflects their feelings during the crisis and lockdown. It's music about the pandemic, not just for the pandemic. Each artist contributed pictures of their studio or bedroom windows, which the visual collective Sbagliato compiled into striking album art that reflects our alone-together situation: 56 artists joining forces for a good cause from behind walls all around the world. WorldWideWindow presents an all-star cast of deep techno producers, from Italian lifers like Donato Dozzy and Dino Sabatini to the likes of DJ Nobu, Rødhåd and the Northern Electronics crew. The approach varies from artist to artist, but you probably know what to expect: drawn-out melodies, atmospheric beats and incredibly nuanced production. Many of them deliver rock-solid techno as if nothing had changed—even a cherished new track from Voices Of The Lake is surprisingly straightforward. Its pulsating thrum is like a soothing balm in this context, a reminder that techno is as much about setting a mood and atmosphere as it is about making people dance. There's loads of great techno on WorldWideWindow, but the best moments are when the artists take the opportunity to explore a mood beyond their usual fare. Marco Shuttle's sumptuous trip-hop, Johanna Knutsson's swampy beats, Grand River's pockmarked organ textures, Dozzy's 12-minute "Let It Go" (which is like a more mature version of his vocal experiments on Sintetizzatrice)—these are the parts of WorldWideWindow that stand out within its overwhelming six-hour runtime. I could go on and on listing highlights. Almost everything on WorldWideWindow is good. I could also criticize the compilation's outlook—Eurocentric and focused mostly on white men—but to do so would undermine the intentions of an album made in good faith to benefit an organization helping the world get past the biggest crisis in recent memory. It represents a specific branch of the techno world, with some of the finest artists in that milieu giving their best. What makes WorldWideWindow most remarkable is that it actually is more than just a charity compilation. Pulled together in the heat of the moment, it's not only a fundraising effort but a document of how some of the world's most renowned techno producers felt at a time when all when their culture suddenly disappeared and their livelihoods dried up overnight. We might look back at WorldWideWindow—its outpouring of expression, its poignant artwork, its noble intentions—as an artifact of one of the most surreal periods in our lives. Hopefully, its sombre mood will be a relic of something long past and not part of a painful new normal. Either way, WorldWideWindow makes clear that, clubs or no clubs, we'll still have techno, which remains as potent a force for expression and communal spirit as ever, even from afar or in self-isolation.
  • Tracklist
      01. Adiel - In The End 02. Agonis - Eternal Silence 03. Alessandro Cortini - RidoPiango 04. Anthony Linell - Concordia 05. BMG - The Needle 06. Caterina Barbieri - Clessidra 07. Crossing Avenue - Ultimi Giorni 08. Cuna - 1,5 m 09. D-Leria - Landed in Another Place 10. Desroi - Lavender 11. Dino Sabatini - Mascherina 12. Distant Echoes & Buck - 40 ÷ 16 13. Dj Nobu - Our Drums 14. Donato Dozzy - Let It Go 15. Emanuele Cefalì - Prora 16. Erika - Xenon Moon 17. Eva Geist - Tun 18. Fabrizio Lapiana - Contact 19. Filippo Scorcucchi - VIsione 20. Forest Drive West - Dune 21. Giorgio Gigli & Lunatik - Pròdromo 22. Grand River - Chambers 23. Johanna Knutsson - Paltanen 24. Laertes - Cerbero 25. Laurence Guy - Try to Understand 26. Leafar Legov - Willow 27. Lucy - Window Glows 28. Luigi Tozzi - A New Hope 29. Marco Shuttle - 100 30. Mathew Jonson - Horns For Life 31. Mike Parker - Siren's Theme 32. Monodogue - Ustali 33. natural/electronic.system - Daydreaming 34. Neel - A Thought Without Time 35. Organic Dial - Rhomb 36. Peter Van Hoesen - Faultline 37. PRG/M - Preludio 38. r²π - Indoor Outlook 39. Rabih Beaini - Cyclops 40. Retina.it - Cult of Violent Passion 41. Roberto Bosco - No Tears, No Fear 42. Rødhåd - Leashed 43. Sciahri - Senseless Rain 44. Sebastian Mullaert - Phosphenes 45. Shifted - Leave Me Cold 46. Sigha - Ae3m 47. Simone Giudice - Transizione 48. Somne - Quarantine City 49. Steevio - Collapsing Systems 50. TM404 - Covid 51. Tobias. - Keep On Sleeping 52. Valentino Mora - Eau 53. Varg2™ - L.A.M 54. Voices From The Lake - Prima Luna 55. VRIL - Missin 56. Wata Igarashi - Las Ventanas Abiertas