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July 13, 2024

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All Tomorrow's Parties 1.0 and 2.0 (All Tomorrow's Parties)

By: Cam Lindsay

Without any question really, All Tomorrow's Parties has become the coolest annual music festival without even trying. By choosing specific musical acts to curate the shows, it is also the most original, avoiding Lollapalooza's taste in trendy music, and forcing consumers to buy tickets based on someone else's taste. Brilliant, diverse and as "indie" as it can get, it blends creativity, melody and the avant-garde. For every experimental knob twidler and socially-conscious hip hop act, there is a progressive jazz outfit or mathrock-noisesters.

These two albums are the first two volumes of the compilation that will accompany each festival (which has now grown to one in the UK, one in L.A. and one in New York). Unfortunately, there wasn't one for the Bowlie Weekender, the original festival, curated by Belle & Sebastian, or the first ATP, curated by Mogwai. It's a fantastic idea to put the bands onto CD, yet not every act makes it.

ATP 1.0, curated by Tortoise, sees a tracklisting that isn't very surprising if you know the band. The Sea & Cake are fabulously remixed by Bundy K. Brown, Black Heart Procession contribute a mightily brooding yet very powerful tune, and the best of the pack, Broadcast's unreleased "DDL", which shows another side to the band. Unfortunately though, not everything is exclusive to the mix. Boards of Canada are represented with an edit of "In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country", Cannibal Ox deliver an album track and Yo La Tengo give a live performance of "On Our Way To Fall". It's not like these songs are subpar songs, but something original like "All Tomorrow's Linoleum" by Autechre makes the listening experience a pleasant surprise. This pisstake is a manic combo of scattered bursts of lasers and beats with a hint of ambience stuck in the background. Mesmerising stuff.

ATP 2.0 is Shellac affair. The style is a lot more raw, lo-key and less restrained. They lead of the pack with an explosive "Watch Song", a song that could make any album sound good from the start. Efforts by Mission Of Burma ("Trem Two"), Bonnie Prince Billy ("Early Morning Melody") and Do Make Say Think ("Classic Noodlanding") are all equally impressive. The only real let down is The Fall's contribution, a track from their Unnutterable album. You'd think from their career of whipping up songs at the spur of the moment, something new could be written for exclusivity, but one out of eleven ain't bad.

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