It’s hard enough to keep up on the new music coming out, but then you pick up something like the double-disc A.L.P.H.A. compilation and suddenly there’s a plethora of new talent to discover. The Geska label provides more than a music service, but also a bank full of visual artists, a perfect combination for the range of sounds found on the Canadian label. The A.L.P.H.A. concept is to “explore the struggle between Humanity and Nature as well as the challenge between Art vs. Science.” Among the tried-and-true artists on this disc are the quirkily harsh Synapscape, pulsating rhythms of Empusae, the pummeling of Converter, the crunchy stompy sounds of Re-Agent, the breathtaking atmospheres from Mlada Fronta and some dark and beautiful soundscapes from Wai Pi Wai, Iszoloscope, Displacer, H.I.V.+ vs. C/A/T, Flint Glass and Lapsed. In addition to the cover photography by Jenny Sturgis of glass sculptures by Rik Allen, you’ll be treated to two of the sweetest in the eye-candy store of videos, one of Converter’s, “Angels drop like flies” and Flint Glass’ “Closer.” I dream of the day Geska releases a DVD. On the first disc, Modus Vivendi, inspiring IDM can be discovered through AQL, Stendeck and Lambwool and others that I would like to find more work from, including Nimp, Nos Royaumes, Koin and S:Cage. Fatum, the second disc, teases with more unfamiliar artists to me: Squale, Communication Zero, Lith, OTX and Komplex, just to name a few. This exploration of art breathes new life into the foundation of visual and aural media. The overall message of the A.L.P.H.A. compilation is optimistic of the future of electronic music and this disc gives you the experience to prove it.
This review originally appeared in Modus Operandi, June 2005, Issue 198.