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Immediate Action

Various Artists
Immediate Action
(Hefty Records)

My record player is one of those devices that I seem to fall in and out of favor with. When I first bought the thing back in the day, I savored it and found myself buying things on vinyl, just so I could test the thing out and feel a bit closer to the music (if nothing else, listening to music on record is a more tactile experience). Then, as my life got busier, I found myself listening to it more and more, as if I somehow couldn't be bothered to get up and flip the record after the 25 minute sides had played through. After a not-so-recent move, I didn't even spend the time hooking it back up again, and it has sat unused for nearly 8 months, gathering dust while my CDs are in rapid rotation.

Fortunately, there are companies like Hefty Records which realize there are lazy asses like me out there. Those who have somehow crammed their lives so full of to-do lists that spinning the old vinyl platter has somehow fallen by the wayside in favor of digital optics and 78-minute runtimes. Originally a six-part set of limited 12" rekkids, the Immediate Action series was conceived with being streamlined in output. Released over a roughly half-year span in 2000, the records were pressed with minimal artwork, minimal promotion, and with the main goal being a bulk release of fine music.

Of course, I completely missed the boat on the series, but this two-disc compilation of material should appease any person who similarly didn't catch wind during the first go-around. Not only are most of the tracks from the 12" series included, but 5 bonus tracks as well. The result is 22 tracks and just about 2 hours of music packaged in a very nice multi-fold digipack, leaving the listener with only one flip necessary to hear everything, rather than 11.

This 2CD set is all about the warm grooves, whether it be jazz infused or rich, minimal techno. Although the label started out more on the post-rock tip, it has since slid into sort of a brother label of ~scape or Warp, gathering steam as one of the the more dependable electronic labels in the U.S. Really, most of the music on the two releases is pretty darn solid, but there are some definite standouts. Bogdan Raczynski remixes John Hughes' "Counting Backwards" into a quirky little cut-up breakbeat number while the Samadha Trio (yet another side project in the seemingly endless batch of work by Scott Herren) contribute 3 different tracks on the two discs that mix organ-heavy jazz with bursts of electronic tomfoolery.

With two more recent releases out to his name T. Raumschmiere is definitely cutting a fine path for himself, and his dark minimal dancefloor workout of "Erloesung Durch Strom II" is like the smooth-flowing offspring of Monolake and Pole. Herren is back as Savath + Savalas on a couple excellent tracks, while Twine get way down in the murk with a couple different remixes, along with a nice original. While there are a few spots on the two discs where things get a bit draggy, for the most part it's a heady mix of rich, warm electronic sounds for a late night.

Rating: 8.25