ALBUM REVIEW: Various – Music For A Good Home 2

Music For A Good Home 2 Two

Written for the 405

There are forty tracks on Music For a Good Home 2 – a compilation of exclusive and rare tracks put together by the rather brilliant Audioscope organisation, who have raised more than £23,000 for homeless charity Shelter since 2001, and aim to raise even more here – and I have a 500 word limit. So I’m going to pick out some highlights for you (of which there are many) from the selection of electronic, post-punk and krautrock-influenced tracks on offer:

  1. ‘Audioscope’ by Four Tet is as good a theme song as you’re likely to get, all glitchy beats with a whistling kettle sound building behind the bleeps and bloops.
  2. ‘American Steam Company’ by Listing Ships is atmospheric post-rock with percussion that sounds like something sinister rustling towards you through the bushes (although like most post-rock it rather outstays its welcome).
  3. ‘Cheetah Dub’ by Box Cutter is a neat little fusion of two-step and chiptune, the sort of thing Burial would make if he sat all day playing Nintendo rather than sitting on rain-sodden night buses.
  4. I guess all the weirder post-punk type stuff got stuck together, because ‘0898’ by Beak> (side-project of Portishead’s Geoff Darrow) hoes similar land to preceding tracks by Warm Digits and Fujiya and Miyagi, leaning to the more Faustian side of things.
  5. The Telescopes’ ‘Dead Air’ is a slightly meandering, sinister ambient piece. With pan pipes and chanting, so Faustian in a more classical sense.
  6. Darrow pops up ago in the form of a Portishead remix of Ride’s ‘Moonlight Medicine’, the Bristol trio’s dark trip-hop beats interrupting the former shoegazers’ psychedelic pastiche.
  7. ‘Why Angry?’ by SJ Esau is a fantastically weird collage of samples and weird noises and pitched down/up group vocals.
  8. The Workhouse’s ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ is the sort of gloomy, anthemic stuff that Interpol would have made if they were less enthralled by Joy Division and The Smiths to do something new and different.
  9. Laura Moody has a powerful, brilliantly eccentric singing voice, which she festoons with some eclectic folk instrumentation for the Kate Bush-raised-by-wolves ‘Oh Mother’.
  10. Kill Murray (sadly no relation to dearly-departed Dananananaykroyd) thankfully live up to their name with some dishevelled, distorted Pavement-slacker-rock-via-Manics on ‘Phermones’.

It’s an eclectic mix, to be sure – and one that includes maybe a little too much of the riff-tastic instrumental post-rock stuff – but otherwise one that’s stuffed full with new stuff by bands you love, and a whole lot of new stuff to tickle your fancy. And it’s all for a good cause, as Shelter’s head of community and events, Paula McGoveney, tell us: “Audioscope’s support has never been more vital as recent shocking figures show how homelessness is rising. With high unemployment, cuts to the housing safety net and the increasing cost of living all taking their toll, there’s a real concern that thousands more ordinary families will face the same nightmare in the coming months and years. So what are you waiting for?

8/10

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