Seavault’s take on Ultra Vivid Scene’s the Mercy Seat is near genius and Seabear’s version of Teenage Kicks is so ridiculously - but endearingly - inoffensive as to be almost beautiful.
A Number of Small Things – Morr Singles collection 2001-2007.
Great! The fabulous Morr label singles LP. Stuffed full of goodies, this two-part CD boasts pretty comprehensive single offerings from the likes of Benni Hemm Hemm, B Fleishmann, Seabear and ISAN.
CD 1 is the pop stuff whilst CD2 highlights the ambient/dance/post-rock brigade. As such it's not the best balance overall, in that ambient stuff can wear thin after an hour's listening, and pop can always get a tad saccharine. But that's a minor quibble, as some of the music on here is truly outstanding, especially the brilliant Benni Hemm Hemm's Skavars and the fabulously affirmative Aldrei (featuring troubadour Jens Lekman). Seavault's take on Ultra Vivid Scene's the Mercy Seat is near genius and Seabear's version of Teenage Kicks is so ridiculously - but endearingly - inoffensive as to be almost beautiful. Electric President bring some real thump with Wearing Influences on Our Sleeveless T-Shirts, and John Yoko's Morning Paper is a very suitable ending to CD 1.
CD 2 is good as long as you take it in small doses. The pace is definitely set with the gentle bleepy pop of Populous's Breathes the Best. On a slightly parallel track, it's interesting to hear how good the early B. Fleischmann single releases Frisky He Said and the beautiful Broken Monitors are in comparison to his later work... There are some tub thumpers on this disc; notably Styrofoam's To Simply Lie Here and Breathe; and Other People's Children On A Clear Day is certainly arresting too. However the tone is overwhelmingly laid-back and it's better to investigate in a peaceful frame of mind, because no-one is going to rush stuff like ISAN's No2 (Lent & Triste).
Enjoyable if you're in the mood, but be warned, it's a tale of two halves.
Words: Richard Foster