Across Uneven Terrain

by Various Artists on FatCat Records

Released 01/11/1998

'The needle comes down and tugs against the ridged trench of the vinyl groove. Moving across uneven terrain, fault-lines open up, blurred or gaseous outlines emerge, move into focus, recede and dissolve. Irridescent fog. Tectonic explosions. Strange, chrystalline fauna sprout up and snake through crumbling tracks and dense, shimmering undergrowth. Chill winds gust over desolate, glacial tundra. Pathways are revealed... Motion... Adventure...

Slipping free from the traditional, narrative focus of the voice, fresh aural territories are opened out, inviting the ear to hook into and track across the shifting details of pure sonic / spatial design. To immerse itself in the pleasures and differences of grain, texture, tone, timbre, rhythm, melody, structure. To traverse through pressure-ridges, ghost-traces, inhabitable flux-spaces, a sprawling network of nodes and vortices, atmospheric changes.

From Transient Waves' langourous whorls of vapour-narcosis, to the skittering/glitchy, micro-fractured landscapes of Funkstorung, Live Human's scratchadelic hiphop, or Fonn's bleak, arctic soundscaping, what's revealed across the course of the compilation emerges as a sense of difference or open-endedness, a desire to search out and inhabit multiple perspectives / effects / structures / trajectories / methods of construction.

Working within the shifting, rhizomatic space that stands at a highly creative, critical distance from the mainstream, FatCat's uniqueness lies in its desire and ablity to operate simultaneously across a wide variety of styles and sound-spaces, whilst refusing to fix upon any static/given identity. Labels and artists as diverse as Kranky, Mego, Chain Reaction, V/VM, Domino, Merzbow, Asphodel, Mille Plateau, DHR, Schematics are all respected, drawn into the discourse and counted as allies. Ambient, hiphop, electronica, techno, noise, turntablism, post-rock, improvisation, electro, dub, industrial, isolationism are all activated at varying stages. Guitars, laptops, drumkits, drum-machines, turntables, samplers, and all manner of processing equipment (whether anaolgue or digital) all considered worthy tools. Yet this adoption of an open, 'anything goes' attitude, doesn't mean 'everything goes'. Maintaining a tight quality control, it has to intrigue, stimulate, dismay. There has to be acertain level of intricacy, of things being pushed forward.

As our first album, 'Across Uneven Terrain' marks the end of FatCat's first year as a label, and constitutes a mix of past (Grain, Insync v Mysteron, Live Human, Fonn, Various Artists, Mice Parade, Funkstorung), present (Immense, Sons Of The Sun), and future (Process, Transient Waves) releases. The forthcoming year will see the label continue to explore and expand upon these gains, with a steady stream of singles and albums from both unknown and established artists. We will continue to take unexpected turnings.

We will continue to encourage, explore and push forward fresh, exciting, imaginative sounds, spaces, and events.'

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  1. Process - Calene
  2. Fonn - Outpost
  3. Sons of the Son - Angkor Thom
  4. Live Human - We Walk On All Fours
  5. Mice Parade - Organic Reproducion Attempt
  6. Immense - Spontaneous Combustion
  7. Transient Waves - Paradise
  8. Various Artists - 8.5
  9. Bjork - All Is Full of Love
  10. Insync vs Mysteron - Old Dark House
  11. Various Artists - 9 (Autechre remix)
  12. Grain - Untitled

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