His Name is Alive is one of the greatest bands you never heard of. Defever is a fearless genius, completely free of conventions, without adherence to a particular style or notion of what is "correct". He made a name for himself as a producer by figuring it all out himself on home recording equipment. He went against all the notions of what is correct production, mixing instruments at "wrong" levels and panning and recording/processing things in strange ways, employing folk, avant garde, goth, indie, funk, pop, psych, garage band and dub styles and production techniques, often within a single song. His approach was at once loose and tight, being unafraid to inlcude chance and mistakes as integral elements in his highly detailed productions. His huge influence on the current trend in indie rock production away from live band guitar-bass-drums puritanism towards eclectic multi instrumental tape experiments and bedroom pro tools cutups is largely unrecognized. The band's early work was unfairly grouped by critics with goth bands and other 4AD artists of the day, but they quickly showed that they were forging new directions in music. Mixing pure emotional passion with extremely advanced intellectual and sonic exploration, HNIA releases defy categorization. This album offers a nice introduction to the band. It is perfectly sequenced, and the tracks are well-chosen (although I might have chosen some different representatives from "Stars on ESP"). The compilation samples from their first eight years of releases(the last of which happens to mark the end of an era for the band, which subsequently moved into a sound inspired by Detroit soul and dance music). It is certainly no substitute for buying each album it contains tracks from, but if I had to take only one HNIA CD with me on a trip, this would be it.