Archive for October 30th, 2010

Buried Treasure: Hi-Fidelity House – Imprint 3

30 October 2010

[Today: Surprise, surprise…]

Once upon a time it would have been impossible for me to imagine that free CDs would be anything but a positive development, but that moment arrived sometime around 2003. If you graphed it out in a series of pie charts, with one color representing space and the other inventory, it was clear that by late ’03 music was the whole pie. All available space had been squeezed out of my music area, which was teetering on the brink of looking like a Tower Records after the ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake. So when I ordered a used copy of a disc in the Hi-Fidelity Dub series of electronica/reggae mixes, I was less than thrilled to find out that I’d be getting a free disc as a “thank you” from the seller. Great, another piece of landfill, I thought, but then that freebie turned out to be Hi-Fidelity House: Imprint 3, and HFH:I3 turned out to be one of my favorite electronica albums.

[By my count there are four ways to discover new music. In rough order of importance, they are: 1) Recommendations by friends and acquaintances – if you ask people what they’re listening to, and actually listen to the responses, you’ll hear a lot of interesting stuff that might otherwise have slipped by; 2) Music magazines, critics and blogs – there is currently a vast and growing number of critical resources that are more specialized and passionate than traditional media could have ever hoped to be; 3) Pop culture – movies, television shows, commercials, and even restaurants and grocery stores have become cagier about using good music. Muzak is a thing of the past; and 4) The serendipitous freak accident – such as the album you buy for fifty cents at a garage sale because you liked the cover, or the giveaway electronica album that turns out to be better than the disc you paid money for…]

Hi-Fidelity House: Imprint 3 is a 2001 compilation from the Guidance Recordings label, which is based out of Chicago. Their brand of electronica is known as “deep-house” [honestly, the number of splinters within electronica is just mind-boggling], but the motto on the back of the album – “Music is our spiritual guide through life” – sounds more like ecstasy-fueled, new age posturing. Regardless, the music is a cooled-out blend of smooth electronica from unusual suspects like Homebase, Dubtribe Sound System and Venus Attack Project. I’m pretty sure that every person who likes electronica has a pet compilation like this that they hold dear to their heart. I’m also pretty sure that sometimes you find the music, and sometimes the music finds you…

Listen: Constant Love [Homebase]

Listen: Riviera Paradise [Venus Attack Project]

Listen: What You Feel In Your Heart [Dubtribe Sound System]

Listen: Days Like These [Kevin Yost]

Listen: Elemntis [Solaris Heights]