V/A: Squadron Grooves Magazine

Date

The second release from this Miami-based label features dramatic, sensuous IDM compositions in the post-Autechre vein of sound. Combining breathtaking pieces of melody, intuition, and distortion in every track, along with a near divine sense of how to combine rich, skittering percussive elements into each work, Squadron is one of the few electronic compilations that will almost undoubtedly receive numerous repeat plays after the first listen.

It opens with a collaboration between Lackluster and Frank Bolero: Chattering insect rhythms plow into your eardrums, eventually coalescing with those ever-romantic Lackluster melodies and fragmented digital beats. "Day Off" from Sense is quite possibly the most dynamic composition on the album, combining intense classical melody with multiple beat shifts and assorted mechanical noises.

Lexaunculpt's contribution, "Tell Me You Love Me," is the next strong piece, filled with harsh, grating noises, distorted voice samples, and quixotic tones. The album ends with Machine Drum's "Izey Rael," a mix of breezy atmospherics, chimes, hip-hop rhythms, and child vocal samples that sounds somewhere between earlier Boards of Canada material and Brian Eno - the perfect ending hymn.

Despite its few shortcomings in tracks from Komp and the normally superb Syndrone, Squadron still remains one of the more inventive and highly intricate electronic compilations that has been released this year.
--Robert Stanton