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Matador at 21 [Box set, Import]

Various Audio CD

Price: £27.27
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine, yet unbalanced, overview of a great record label 28 Sep 2010
By korova - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First things first: as of the writing of this review, there is no track listing provided for this box set. So, directly from the Matador website, here it is:

Disc One: The Pre-Dawn (1989-1992):
1. Teenage Fanclub - Everything Flows
2. H. P. Zinker - Dancing Days
3. Superchunk - Slack Møther****er
4. Dustdevils - Throw The Bottlefull
5. Railroad Jerk - These Streets
6. Come - Fast P¡$$ Blues
7. Bettie Serveert - Kid's Allright
8. Chain Gang - Cut Off The Drug Czar's Head
9. Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Glee
10. Unsane - This Town
11. Circle X - Compression Of The Species
12. Toiling Midgets - Mr. Foster's Shoes
13. Bailter Space - The Today Song
14. Pavement - Perfume-V

Disc Two: The Years Of Milk and Honey (1993-1995):
1. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Afro
2. Yo La Tengo - Big Day Coming
3. Railroad Jerk - The Ballad Of Railroad Jerk
4. Helium - Superball
5. Pizzicato Five - Baby Love Child
6. The Fall - 15 Ways (NOTE: this track IS NOT on the released disc for some reason)
7. Liz Phair - Mesmerizing
8. Pavement - Silence Kit
9. Guided By Voices - Game Of Pr¡ck$
10. 18th Dye - Whole Wide World
11. Chavez - Peeled Out To Late
12. Come - String
13. Moonshake - Secondhand Clothes
14. Guitar Wolf - Midnight Violence Rock'n'Roll
15. San Francisco Seals - Back Again
16. Bardo Pond - Rumination

Disc Three: Days Of Whiskey and Tears (1996-2001):
1. Boards Of Canada - Telephasic Workshop
2. Spoon - Waiting For The Kid To Come Out
3. Yo La Tengo - Autumn Sweater
4. Chavez - You Must Be Stopped
5. Silkworm - Tarnished angel
6. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Flavor Parts 1 & 2
7. Pole - Fliegen
8. Cat Power - American Flag
9. Belle and Sebastian - We Rule The School
10. Mogwai - Helps Both Ways
11. Arsonists - Backdraft
12. Large Professor - `Bout That Time
13. Cornelius - Tone Twilight Zone
14. burger/ink - Flesh & Blood
15. Pavement - You Are A Light
16. Arab Strap - Blood
17. Matmos - L.A.S.I.K.

Disc Four: Don't Call It A Comeback (2002-2007):
1. Interpol - Hands Away
2. Cat Power - He War
3. Yo La Tengo - Today Is The Day
4. The New Pørnøgrapher$ - From Blown Speakers
5. Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp
6. Dead Meadow - Good Moanin'
7. Mogwai - Kids Will Be Skeletons
8. Mission Of Burma - The Setup
9. Early Man - Death Is The Answer
10. Belle and Sebastian - Dress Up In You
11. Pretty Girls Make Graves - All Medicated Geniuses
12. Cat Power - Love & Communication
13. Shearwater - Johnny Viola
14. Brightblack Morning Light - Everybody Daylight
15. Lavender Diamond - You Broke My Heart
16. Jennifer O'Connor - Tonight We Ride
17. Earles & Jensen - The Yogurt Machine
18. Stephen Malkmus - Discretion Grove

Disc Five: Matador Today (2008 - ):
1. F*¢k*d Up - Son The Father
2. Sonic Youth - Sacred Trickster
3. Kurt Vile - Amplifier
4. Yo La Tengo - Nothing To Hide
5. Jay Reatard - There Is No Sun
6. Harlem - Friendly Ghost
7. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Bottled In Cork
8. Cold Cave - Youth and Lust
9. The New Pørnøgrapher$ - My Shepherd
10. Times New Viking- Sick & Tyred
11. Girls - Lust For Life
12. Interpol - Success
13. Shearwater - Castaways
14. Cat Power - Silver Stallion
15. Esben and the Witch - Marching Song
16. Delorean - Stay Close
17. Magic Kids - Superball
18. Perfume Genius - Learning
19. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash

Disc Six: Unreleased & Live from Matador at 10, 1999:
1. Pavement - Here (LIVE 1999)
2. Pavement - Trigger Cut (LIVE 1999)
3. Pavement - The Hexx (LIVE 1999)
4. Pavement - She Believes (LIVE 1999)
5. Pavement - Unfair (LIVE 1999)
6. Pavement - Zurich Is Stained (LIVE 1999)
7. Pavement - Debris Slide (LIVE 1999)
8. Pavement - Spit On A Stranger (LIVE 1999)
9. Come - New Coats (LIVE 1999)
10. Bardo Pond - Walking Stick Man (LIVE 1999)
11. Bardo Pond - Tommy Gun Angel (LIVE 1999)
12. Cat Power - Good Woman (LIVE 1999)
13. Cat Power - Naked, If I Want To (LIVE 1999)
14. Cat Power - You May Know Him/Sea Of Love (LIVE 99)
15. Mogwai - Ex-Cowboy (LIVE 1999)

As you can see, the first five discs provide a nice chronological look at stuff released on Matador over the last 21 years. The sixth disc contains the only truly rare tracks; the rest are all fairly easy to find if you don't have them already. Yep, there is a pretty big bias towards Matador's better-known artists (except for this Pavement group, has anybody here ever heard of them?) but there really isn't a bad track in the batch. The remastering job seems fine. I'm used to hearing a lot of these songs on played-to-death, worn out records though, so it would be pretty hard for me to say there's no improvement in sound quality from the original versions I own.

Given that only one-sixth of the contents of this box is unreleased, a big question is whether or not the packaging is cool. In a word, yes. The discs come in individual digipacks, the box itself is covered in linen, and you get a set of Vegas-quality custom Matador poker chips. Hoo yah! The booklet is the weakest part of the set. It's mostly a collage of random graphics, PR blurbs, and emails. It does include a full label discography, up to and including this release (OLE-1000). Unfortunately, the discography also serves as a reminder of just how many bands were left off this compilation.

Bottom line: if you dig the kind of "majorindie" rock that had its heyday in the 90's, Matador was one of the leading purveyors. Matador was never able to forge as strong of a house-style as other influential labels, such as Sub Pop, Dischord, 4AD, and Factory, but they did release a lot of great music. Worth picking up for the nostalgia value, especially if you're a collector of cool box sets. And don't forget, you can never have too much Come!

(See the comments section of this review for a couple of links to Matador's official info about this set, including some fab pix)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great set, but sound errors can be heard on Disc 1. 17 July 2011
By CJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Overall, this box set is definitely worth the money for the amount of music you get...and it comes in a cool box with poker chips. Totally unique. However, there are minor audio oddities on the first disc: on The Toiling Midgets' "Mr. Foster's Shoes," there's a noticeable skip at 1:52, and there's a slight bump or gap in the audio at :22. Also, there's noticeable audio popping on Dustdevils' "Throw the Bottlefull" at 2:39. The kind folks at Matador actually sent me a replacement disc, but the errors were also present on that copy.
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