- Music reviews are a pretty tricky business, probably almost as tricky as making a great compilation. One needs to select the right sentences out of sentences that we're all more or less familiar with and put them together in a way that gives them a new meaning. The compilation creator, just like a reviewer, needs to make a true statement about the contemporary musical ethos, to find a genuine angle in the material that helps us pause time for a second and see how all this music makes sense in the overwhelming release plethora of recent times.
The best thing a compilation can do is capture a musical era, like Brian Eno did with his monumental 'No New York' compilation from 1978, or like Soul Jazz Records do with their dig-it-up compilations, taking genres like acid house and disco, and sometimes facetiously esoteric ones like no wave and Brazilian post-punk, and presenting them to the world in a good old music nerd fashion.
Today, you don't have to be Brian Eno to put out an assembly of tracks. 'Destroy Minimal' proves you can be plain Jerry, owner of the Internet store City16 (Yes, the same one that was shilling those 'Destroy Minimal' T-shirts back a while ago. Running gag? Afraid so). Although the best angle Jerry could find was a ludicrous title that puts a smile on your face, slapped on a double CD with 28 cuts that were significant to some, which is seemingly the only link between this diverse stack.
Nowadays, it seems presentation trumps content. All it takes is a reference to Mylo's 'Destroy Rock and Roll', or even, er, Atari Teenage Riot's 'Destroy 2000 Years Of Culture' to get the media's attention. So what are we supposed to make of this? I could just list my favourites off the album – Isolee's chaotic remix of Ricardo Villalobos' 'What You Say Is More', Todd Terje's piano disco bliss rendition of Lindstrom's 'Another Station', International Pony's overlooked 'Our House', and well, many more – but then I'd just be making my own compilation, wouldn't I?
As a map of the musical landscape, 'Destroy Minimal' is a failure. It's an almost arbitrary selection of worthwhile tracks (the only structure I could find was the first CD is indeed more 'minimal', while the second is the more deconstructive 'destroy' half perhaps) but the mix is too general to be meaningful in the long term, just like those commercial 'Now Dance' collections. If, however, you're after some short term fun, you could do a lot worse.