carry on lovin'

In celebrating its five-year anniversary, MOMT Records offers up this free and decent sampler of the label's roster.What was once a limited edition CD-R and is now a free download, Carry On Lovin' commemorates the fifth anniversary of MoMT Records' eclectic electronic existence with an array of new material, rare B-sides, and exclusive remixes from the artists on the label's roster. If one is unfamiliar with MoMT, it might be best to cite some source material, as the label's stars all date back to one singular project: the legendary UK act Cubanate.

Though Cubanate is still missing in action, Carry On Lovin' houses not only its offshoots, but also the offshoots of offshoots, all of whom revolve around ex-Cubanate founder Graham Rayner and his longtime collaborator Christian Weber. Of these, certainly Rayner and Weber's main project, K-Nitrate is the star. From the clacking, bass-pounding mechanical frenzy of their drum machines to the abrasive scraping textures, the twittering tectonic attack of "Cold Steel" is certainly a steadfast reminder as to why these two have been sung praise since K-Nitrate's foundation 15 years ago. Beyond K-Nitrate, both Rayner and Weber offer up selections from their own individual projects, Audacity and Audio War. Audacity's contribution, "Dreamscape" is certainly a pleasant selection; from its percussive cardboard funk to its shimmering electric arpeggios, this sample-laced selection captures the urgency of trance while retaining just enough rock to give its dissonance an organic bite. Though Audio War's contributions are both mere demos, one still can readily glean what MoMT sees in this act. An explosive fray of rollicking steel-tongued percussion and gleaming guitar noise, "One Drug (KreuzDammer Remix)" cleverly flips one's expectations on end, twisting anthemic guitar-industrial hooks into an explosive dance arrangement that's akin to Chemlab being retranslated by Prodigy. Though this work is still admittedly a bare bones demo, it's definitely a sign that this fledgling act could blossom into something legendary.

However, the entirety of Carry On Lovin' isn't owed to the skills of the extended Cubanate family, nor is all of it explosive in nature. For example, one should take note of Shinji Yamashita's tranquil "Salvation" among the heaps of adrenaline. Glimmering with jangling acoustic guitar, crispy and pensive trip-hop beats, and a dreamy haze of monastic chanting, Shinji's work almost resembles Enigma or Delerium minus the Celtic-pop divas. Finally, North American duo UCNX's meditative "Paranoid Mass" is reminiscent of the hesitant sci-fi explorations of FLA's other side-project, Intermix; though the bass-synth mumbles and stuttering snare lines are quite comparable, the gentle violin winds and clinking, gurgling inhabitants prove to be rather gentle companions.

Naturally, with any compilation, especially a label sampler, the quality of the whole is going to be a hit-or-miss affair padded out with copycats and unremarkable filler. Still, considering it's a free download that includes such talents as K-Nitrate and UCNX, it's certainly worth one's time and hard drive space to give it a shot and grab a few terrific tracks by some new and underrated artists.

3/5 Vlad McNeally (Re:Gen Magazine)