[sic] Magazine

Various Artists – Twenty Years Away, an n5MD compilation.

Various Artists – Twenty Years Away, an n5MD compilation.

The n5MD label has been virtually ever-present in the lives of [sic] Magazine for both staff and readers alike. Founded by Mike Cadoo, the Bay area imprint came to our attention early on, ostensibly because of their manifesto which is to provide a platform for those IDM artists that infuse their work with feelings and emotion. I say ‘ostensibly’ because the theory sounds fine but what about in practice? The bottom line is that the music is just so good. Whether house, downtempo, ambient, drone, no musician gets an n5MD release unless they’re bringing the feels.

Has it really been twenty years already? Well yes it has. The labels earliest releases used the Mini Disc format, hence the name n5MD. Since then it has played host to the likes of Last Days, subtractiveLAD, bvdub, port royal, Near The Parenthesis and Dalot as well as Cadoo’s own Dryft and Bitcrush. Most n5MD artists have been featured in [sic] and most also feature here on this compilation.

Twenty Years Away is over two and a half hours of music. The collection is clearly to commemorate the labels 20th anniversary. However, all proceeds will be donated to the Cystinosis Research Foundation, the body created to help find a cure for one of the rarest genetic diseases, Cystinosis. This compilation features 31 tracks from the current n5MD roster and alumni. In their words, they wanted to “showcase the label’s experimental electronica roots, electro-acoustic, leanings, and current penchant for widescreen ambient.” This they achieve and more. Twenty Years Away is no offcuts bundle. Some of the work featured here ranks among that artists best output.

Compilations can be wonderful opportunities for discovery. The old cliché ‘worth the admission price for x alone’ sure does apply here, only the x will change from person to person. This makes Twenty Years Away the perfect Christmas gift, either to yourself or for that music loving friend of yours. You’ll get it for x, you’ll discover y and z and all for a good cause.

n’hesitez pas

Twenty Years Away is out now on n5MD.

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