Many labels will distil a singular sound over the course of their lifespan – a polished and readily-identifiable set of sonic hallmarks readily identifiable to even the casual listener. Others pride themselves on variation, exploring new avenues with each successive release and making a virtue of unpredictability.
Denovali, the label behind this week’s Crack Mix, fall squarely in the latter camp. Founded in Bochum, Germany in the mid-2000s, the imprint’s output spans ambient and experimental electronica, drone, jazz, modern composition and sound art. The only common thread between one release and the next is its appeal to the particular tastes of co-founders Timo and Thomas, whose scrupulous attention to detail sees every aspect of the label tuned to a tee.
As a label, Denovali isn’t an arena for big-name artists to grandstand their latest opus in – many of the artists coming through will have few, if any prior releases – but for those who know it’s a vital resource for bleeding-edge experimental music (recent highlights include the forlorn and deeply affecting ambient work of Prairie’s After the Flood and the dark, cinematic electronica of Terminal Sound System.)
For Denovali’s Crack Mix, label member Alex has compiled a selection of cuts that explore Denovali’s more electronic tendencies, including tracks from the Denovali oeuvre alongside work from producers they collectively admire. The result is a deeply atmospheric and far-ranging journey through the universe of one of the finest independent labels out.
Universal Spirit – Let’s Try Some Energy
Robert Lippok – Close
Nadia Struiwigh – Space Tribe
Grand River – The Question is
Elektro Guzzi – Magnet
Spacetime Continuum – Beveled
Aleksi Perälä – NLL561606935
Ricardo Donoso – Disconnected Visions
Prairie – Flash Flood (Orphan Swords Remix)
Ensemble Economique – Music is Life (feat. Alexander Molero)
LTO – Modaxen
Tim Hecker – Keyed Out
Eye Of Time – In the Name of Earth
Dedekind Cut – MMXIX