Every “death and rebirth” story invokes the image of the Phoenix rising from her ashes, born from her own detritus. Sunrise over Atlanta on a red-eyed, all-night drive conjures the same. Likening Nophi Records’ resurgence to this evocative, legendary bird is natural, but flawed. As beautiful as this analogy may be, it lacks urgency. The Bird is born to burn, to die, to be reborn, ad-infinitum. Compilation Four evokes something just a bit more pressing.
Every track plays like a how-to for surviving, partying through, sexing up and/or dying in flames in a Southern city’s own apocalypse. The compilation doesn’t so much begin as batter. Sonen’s driving drums and dirty bass grasp you by the ears, throat and heart, setting a frenetic urgency to the beginning of the compilation.
Capibara, The Extraordinary Contraptions, The Fabric, Johan Ess and Ryan Noise’s contributions wax preapocalyptic -- as if each member of each group knows perfectly well that we are hurtling toward a precipice, that we’re going over, nothing to be done for it, so all we can do is rock out as hard as we can RIGHT NOW.
Then, appropriately enough, after Ryan Noise’s “Make Me Feel”, Social Espionage’s “Antigravity” opens like a wind-up music box, pulled out of a mildewed, misspent youth. Leading in with lamentation and ending with defiance. From “All the things I do to put myself at risk of falling”, to “You can’t hold me / Can’t hold me down.” Following Social Espionage’s wrestling match of conceived destiny vs. raw willpower comes Sue Wilkinson’s haunted soprano keening and a soft, short, world-weary laugh. Wilkinson’s “Sympatico” prepares us, like a kind but saddened smile from a clairvoyant great-aunt, for Act Two of Compilation Four, in which the world ends.
With “Jodrell Bank,” Tay0 takes us into freefall. Meut, The Dirty Lungs and Cassavetes take the ride down with us. Because what else is there to do now that we’ve fucked it all up? Meut advises us, “Let’s make love till the end.” The Dirty Lungs have “a fever of a hundred and three.” Cassavetes begs our forgiveness, crooning, “I would’ve have found you / It would’ve been alright / if you hadn’t died.” And, without even knowing it, we’ve hit bottom. The ride’s over. We’ve run up to the cliff. We’ve jumped. We’ve
fucked and danced and laughed all the way down. The end? No, just Act Three: Post-Apocalypse.
In the Third and Final Act of Compilation Four, Fader Vixen, alGARhythm, citizenGreen, R_Garcia, Envie, Jungol, Blee’s Company and Reklein pick up that frenetic urgency again. Fader Vixen looks back, wishes for a “Virtual Rewind.” R_Garcia mocks us all because, of course, “In the year 100,000, we’ll evolve.” Envie moans and mourns us. Jungol demands that we, “Burn it all down!” And, finally, Blee’s Company and Reklein finish out the compilation with tracks that almost make you believe we could survive it all... Almost.
Founded in 1999, Nophi Music Co. first served the vibrant “IDM” scene in South and Central Florida. The label quickly grew
to include a roster of over 100 EDM artists from all over the world, releasing everything from experimental to house, drum and bass, chiptunes....more