Various Artists - Eleven into Fifteen: a 130701 Compilation

by Rob Taylor Rating:10 Release Date:2016-07-15

To embrace modern classical music alongside other creative musical forms without erecting artificial boundaries has been very much the province of the small label. Take Fatcat’s imprint, 130701 for instance. In the 15 years since the small label commenced, they’ve introduced modernist classical music to a new audience with fringe interests. Fans of electronic music, especially of the experimental kind, and eager indie types whose musical interests stretch across genres, have been drafted in to a whole new world of post-modern classical music.

This compilation of 130701’s roster since inception is a truly inspired listen. It's the musical equivalent of the reward that comes at the end of a rigorous mountain climb. Breathtaking vistas, fresh air and a new confidence in your world outlook, however momentary that might prove to be. The music here breathes and courses wildly, as evocative as the best of ambient music but much more dynamic in texture and volume. 

From the vaguely middle eastern lament of 'Yangtze,' to further east on prepared piano piece, 'Constreaux No 2'; the Schubertian reverie of 'Anthem' to the menacing buzz of a slightly deranged orchestra on 'barn levitate', a piece by the well-known Set Fire to Flames; the fantasy world of track 'N B' to the ruminations on Bach on Richter’s 'Bach Study', Eleven into Fifteen 130701 2001-2016 is as essential a listen as I’ve heard all of 2016. The latter piece by Richter epitomises modern composition that is not afraid to look backwards while motoring forwards.

None of these pieces have been released before by the roster artists, which is all the more remarkable because they are unearthed gold. The last track by Johann Johannsen 'They Being Dead Yet Speaketh' was recorded live at the World Financial Centre, Winter Garden, New York. A ten story glass vaulted pavilion of monumental architectural beauty, a stark metaphor for this stunning composition.

Don’t miss this. 

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