Various Artists NC5 No Corner
Bristol label No Corner has acted as a conduit for the rawest expressions from true fringe dwellers. A sizeable amount of the label’s catalogue consists of cassette-only albums made up of experiments others would get nervous about putting out.
Marking five years without compromise, No Corner’s intimidating catalogue gets a timely summary on this compilation. The breadth is incredible, from the mechanical malfunctions and dead-eyed bars of asda’s The McDonalds Prayer to Lurka’s sad and beautiful Friday Sit In the Dark loop. Dub looms large, as Systemwide channel On-U Sound on Provisional (Dub) and Andy Mac and Ossia patter out a meditational roll on Soup Riddim. There’s also plenty of screwball techno, from October’s new beat-flavoured flex to Lily’s melancholic Self Help.
At 29 tracks, there’s a lot to take in, while the second tape features the abstract savagery of a Killing Sound live session and an edit of Kahn & Neek’s infamous Gorgon Grime mixtape. If it sounds like a messy collection, it is, and therein lies the wonderful glue that binds No Corner together like a homemade zine. The unified embrace of lo-fi noise, archaic methods and fearless experimental swagger is what brings this rag tag group of sonic misfits onto the same set of spools. When so much music is measured in its approach, the chaos of No Corner is a welcome breath of toxic fumes.