Various Artists - Peace (for mom)
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Various Artists
Peace (for mom)

A couple years after the time I first started getting into music that was outside of the mainstream, one of the first websites that I discovered was Brainwashed.com. At the time (clear back in 1996), it not only hosted websites for a variety of different artists, but also featured weekly updates (called "The Brain") with album and live reviews and other related information. Over the past decade, the site has grown in scope, but retained the same overall feel, with direct hosting of numerous artist websites (including Matmos, Windy & Carl and a ton of others), often-updated reviews, release date information, and other stuff.

Along the way, The Brainwashed label launched, with several sub-labels attached (including Killer Pimp, which was home of the recent A Place To Bury Strangers). They co-released a couple Fridge albums with Temporary Residence, put out a DVDR series of live and behind-the-scenes interviews with great artists, put out limited 7"s and have put out several limited releases under the "handmade" heading.

Peace (for mom) is the newest release in the handmade series, and it's dedicated to the memory of site-founder Jon Whitney's mother, who passed last year and was the major source of enthusiasm and influence in life. Like the site as a whole, the release is about as varied as one can possibly get, with everything from quiet folk and chamber music to electronic pop and experimental electronic. Thirty-four songs stretch out over 2CDs, and they're housed in a lovely hand-letterpressed sleeve from Interrobang letterpress.

Although there's plenty of great already-released music on the compilation to recommend it (including work from Antony And The Johnsons, Marrissa Nadler, Fridge, Caribou, and others), it's the unreleased work that will likely be the biggest treat for most people (and is the real draw of this very-limited pressing). Boduf Songs, Andrew Lilies, Matmos, Jessica Bailiff, Little Annie Bandez, and Nudge all contribute tracks that are exclusive to this release alone, while Keith Fullerton Whitman and the aforementioned A Place To Bury Strangers both offer up songs that have only appeared on harder-to-get vinyl releases to date.

In addition to the exclusive new tracks, there are a slew of exclusive alternate takes of already-released songs, and they're welcome additions as well, with "Woven Clouds" by Carter Tutti standing out as a particularly aching addition. As with the Brainwashed website as a whole, I don't find myself completely loving everything on the release, but there's more than enough excellent stuff to keep me coming back. A great little release, Peace (for mom) is a limited pressing with proceeds going for a great cause.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2008-04-24 20:59:13