VARIOUS ARTISTS - Circles & Squares

Various Artists - Circles & Squares

16 songs
54:48 minutes
***** ****
Red Can

The Red Can Company is a small record label from Munich. They have been around for seven years and release mostly, but not exclusively, guitar driven music. To bring their bands closer to possible audiences, they regularly release compilations featuring their artists. The newest is called Circles & Squares and offers highest quality without exception, and is also a look back that the history of Bernd Hoffmann’s one-man-company.

In accordance with their label policy, the compilation is released as a vinyl record which is accompanied by a modest CD containing the same music digitally. The cover is made of cardboard printed with a few basic colours. From a musical point of view, you get everything from alternative rock, punk, emo, rock’n’roll, blues to even electro and jazz. The bands sing either in German or in English.

The compilation starts with a short, noisy instrumental by Are We Electric. The label’s best known band Subrosa Falcon Association fascinates with their dynamic, carefree alternative rck. Mitote prove once again that they are the better Die Ärzte. Jesus Kid Canaveral sound angry and minimalist. Nixon Golden are at least as cool as the Violent Femmes, and Anna Zoitke are always at their best when they dare to rock. Purren remind me of Dinosaur Jr. Totally different are Roverandom who play without guitars a mix between jazz, orchestra and folk. Santiago are one of the better emo bands. Bongartz are again more experimental and electronic. Also complex, but more mathy is The Wet Set’s contribution. Retro rock fans will get their kicks out of Mondo Ray and Fluf. Thee Nine and Jakov Goodnight offer some more freewheeling rock before the country influenced Russ Defense end the album on a more quiet note.

I may not have liked each and every track on this compilation, but the Red Can Company is a really great label with a incredibly broad repertoire of bands that are sounding far above the average. Fans of uncommercial quality independent music of all kinds should check out the bands on this compilation, even if some have disbanded already.

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