Rough Trade have come up trumps again with this, a selection of 2003's best tracks from the independent music scene. For those of us who don't have the time or circumstance to keep our ears to the ground, RT generously let us in to a world of musical intrigue and originality.
Each of the 45 tracks are selected by Rough Trade staff and are accompanied within the sleeve by a concise and often insightful comment. CD 1 is a collection of lovely songs and laid back grooves, the kind of music to start your weekend to. CD 2 is the loud one - punky, electronic and in your face. Some of the artists here are already very well known; Peaches, Dizzee Rascal, Franz Ferdinand, LFO. Many others here should and quite possibly will be. Kaada's 'Care' on CD 1 is an immediate hit sounding like its been dragged out of the past as a beacon for the future, The Postal Service's 'The District Sleeps Alone Tonight' is plain beautiful, as are the slow toe-curlers by The Concretes, Iron & Wine, John Fahey and Surfjan Stevens.
CD 2 rips away with Seattle band Kinski's explosive guitars and the tempo is hardly tempered throughout the rest of the disc as it runs from dirty rock (The Kills, C.Aarme) through electronic pumpers (T Raumschmiere, LFO, Mu) to noisy punk (The Barcelona Pavilion) If you don't tap your feet with great gusto to Tramp Attack's 'Eight Years Since School', then ask somebody to check your pulse.
This is music for the bedroom, the lounge, the car and the catwalk and on top of all that the compilation features a song entitled 'Spread Your Legs, Release The Bats'. That has to be worth a listen. Brilliant. Buy it.