Various Artists – Blam Lord's Quest
Aural Sects are a URL label run by electronic artists from the UK and US, several emerging from the fringes of the witch house movement. The central figure who gives the title to their latest release, a sprawling 49-track odyssey, is Blam Lord: rapper, blogger and itinerant Tumblr-idol. AS co-founder spf5Ø came up with the idea of producing a musical tribute to video games, masterminded the project, and he produces many of the standout tracks.
Simultaneously subverting and revelling in the frantic excesses and shameless atmospherics of in-game music, we get moody, gothic hip-hop from BL▲CK CEILING, turning a theme from Silent Hill into an epic, doom-laden piece of piano-led melancholia; we get Candy Painted’s jaunty electro rendition of the music and FX from Mario Kart; the frantic 8-bit punk of Witchboy’s TOKYO BULLET; the hilarious-but-also-awesome lo-fi hip-hop of BLOWN’s NBA Jam-inspired HES ON FIRE!; abstract grime from SKELETONKIDS on a Zelda riff; the minimal, pulsing electro of FiNight's Conception; the industrial goth-rave of Ian Curtis Wishlist’s Bubbleman Theme; and upfront abstract / occult-digital hip-hop from Blam, Spz Chaote and Aparition on the fantastic 8-Bit Sorcery.
That’s barely scratching the surface. Quest... is a schizophrenically experimental album; remarkably coherent considering its size, and genuinely heartfelt in its loving, enthusiastic recollection and celebration of the video games of our collective youth. A great introduction to the vibrant young label already championed by the likes of Mishka NYC's blog and Earmilk among others, this is a must for experimental electronic fans, and anyone with overdeveloped thumbs from years of button-bashing.