ALBUM | Various Artists, “OBE” [Lifted Contingency]

Compilations are rough to conquer. As far as hand selecting and curating a unified soundscape while demonstrating a sense of diversity within the track selections themselves, it can be an arduous process – much like editing a film or a DJ trying to decide which black v-neck to wear (hint: the blackest black). Some labels, thankfully, have a grip on what works well with what despite how difficult the selection process may be.

The new OBE compilation, coming out today through Lifted Contingency, can be surmised at first glance as a sampling of bass driven electronic music. If you dive right in, a smattering of dub, garage, and drum and bass will be the initial reaction. Take some time to expose the lineage binding each track to the one before it, however, and you’ll discover a trove of hidden gems and dancefloor weapons as unique and left-field as can be expected. There’s deeper connective tissue to sub genres like ragga jungle, the darker side of future garage, grime, and rougher techno styles that becomes increasingly present through the duration of the release giving which will undoubtedly give genre heads a run for their money. Aggressive, raw, and intricately stitched together, the weaving of the bizarre, macabre, and elegant somehow come to a succinct and stimulating balance with each subsequent number. Balance is key here. Whether it’s the brain smoldering jungle number “Street Meat” or the less aggro 2-stepper “Funky Feeling,” the underlying vibe is particular, unified, and allows for a comfortable balance between the vast array of styles and influences present in this release.

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