CD 1 - F***edUpAndWasted
The intro together with Meat Katie's 'Long To Belong' sets the atmospheric tone for Disc One. It reminds me of the types of sounds that you would find gliding through a vintage film. However, when the slight break comes and Vogon's 'Decoy' takes over with the introduction of a quality bass-line, the foundation is set for ‘Escape’ by The Thrillseekers, a beautiful track to say the least.
The mid section of this album features some great tracks, nothing you would really hear in a club or on any normal compilation, but nonetheless inspired sounds by which to clear your mind of thoughts of your problems/work/life/love/etc. Before long, the great electronic sounding vocals from Bola’s ‘Pae Paoe’ featuring Dennis Bourne give this mixture of ambient music a new feel, and its impact is awesome to say the least.
At this point the album just takes you away, with tracks like the incredible sounding ‘Folding Space‘. The highlight of the disc is the consecutive arrangement of five brilliant tracks, from Naked Funky's 'Evolution Ending', to Mimic's 'Calmingly Numb' to Ashtrax's 'Future Traffic Song'(the moniker used for the collaboration between ashley casselle and james christopher). These help to create an amazing mood that isn’t particularly commercially definable, but is more something that allows each individual person to take from it their own afterhours experience. The disc closes with the deep, soft and forgiving sounds of 'It's A Wonderful Life' by Sparklehorse.
CD 2 - PartyAfterTheParty
Balago starts this disc off with two tracks. The first is the slow building deep intro track titled 'Maccabea'. Taking on from this is 'Pendulos', which features some very deep yet solid sounds. These continue to slowly build, leaving the listener in anticipation of the moment when firm bassline will kick in. This finally drops in track 3, a masterful reworking of the Depeche Mode classic 'It's No Good'.
Things become a little twisted from here, but before your mind spins completely out of orbit Momu's semi self titled track, 'This Is Momu', reigns you in again with its very smooth upbeat sounds. This introduces the more upbeat and ‘party-after-the-party’ feel of this second disc. Start Alex's 'Soundboy' is a great track to get you mentally moving. By the time the CD gets to Filta's 'Abuse' it has developed a much stronger funky breakbeat feel. Two of Ficta's more recent tunes, 'Pathfinder' and 'Eli', follow from here in a similar mood enhancing vein.
As this impressive disc draws to a close, it all goes a little pear shaped in my head. The last couple of tracks, starting with M.Mayer's 'Love Is Stronger Than Pride', feature some crazy beats and noises that in the right (wrong) circumstance really would give you a bit of a head-f**k. Following this is Froyd's 'Weisses Rauschen', which breaks in with an intrusively harsh and grating german vocal. From there the disc goes on to close with a few very sideways tracks. On the whole however, these few unfortunate tracks fail to dent the overall quality of this compilation.
In general the compilation is a solid effort, a true journey for the mind, body and soul, and is best taken after long exposure to the clubbing environment. It is punctuated by head clearing sounds, the perfect stuff to relax the mind after a massive night out. And although these discs feature some fairly f%*ked up and wasted sh*t, they are at the same time both mellow and deep, a perfect example of the ‘I just got home at 4am and need something to stop the ringing yet something that isn’t too offensive and may event let me get some sleep’ kind of music. Disc One of this afterhours compilation is particularly flawless, while Disc Two is the more intense and experimental of the two and features some amazing production.
The compilation certainly seems to achieve the original intention of GU, this being obviously to provide music for those requiring a specific, unique sound tailored for the afterhours, a relatively untapped market not to be confused with the ‘chill-out music’ genre, or GU’s recent Electric Calm release. It relies on the fact that in some point in time you will need solid post 'event' sounds. Whether that 'event' is a night out clubbing, a nasty day in the office or a harsh road trip, the album succeeds in offering the mind a haven in which to unwind. Although I don’t have the entire back catalogue of GU on my shelves, to my knowledge this compilation is the furthest venture away from the traditional GU style of music to date. A change that is not unwelcome given that, although dependant upon your personal taste, this album may just prove to be the one you reach for when life gets a tad shady.
This release also comes with a bonus CD featuring ‘A visual narrative into the afterhours’. It is a PC CD which features two short films covering the Darker and Lighter sides of post clubbing adventures…
CD01 - F ***edUpAndWasted
Meat Katie - Long to Belong.
Vogon - Decoy.
The Thrillseekers - Escape.
Spanna - Kan Kan.
Terranova - Bitcrush.
Bola - Pae Paoe featuring Dennis Bourne.
The Detroit Escalator Company - Folding Space.
Naked Funk - Evolution Ending.
Pink Bomb - My Life In Art.
Mimic - Calmingly Numb.
Argonout - Going Through.
Ashtrax - Future Traffic Song.
Sparklehorse - It's A Wonderful Life.
CD02 – PartyAfterTheParty
Balago - Maccabea.
Balago - Péndulos.
Depeche Mode - It's No Good.
Jimi Tenor - Utopian Dream.
Momu - This Is Momu.
Smart Alex - Soundboy.
The Human League - Being Boiled.
Stereonova - People Started To Move.
Bunch Of Gurus And Emilia Majello - Punk Cake.
Filta - Abuse.
Ficta - Pathfinder.
Ficta - Eli.
M.Mayer - Love Is Stronger Than Pride.
Froyd - Weisses Rauschen.
Kotai - Sucker DJ.
Brooklyn Funk Essentials - I Got Cash.
CD_ROM - BeautifulKindOfMadness
A visual narrative into the Afterhours.
Darkness: Imagery set to Balago. Pendulos.
Light: Imagery set to Bola. Pae Paoe featuring Dennis Bourne.