I Can Count 2
The ongoing phenomenon with DIY record labels, pretty much down to the success of organisations like Dance To The Radio and Transgressive, has seen a resurgence not witnessed since the earliest days of punk.
Leeds-cum-London indie I Can Count, a five-man army of musos ranging from guitar pop lovers to nocturnal technoheads, are the latest, and possibly most inventive label to emerge in a long while. Mixing more influences than a chemist's backroom and crossing more genres than the Guinness Book Of Hit Singles, 'I Can Count 2' - the follow-up to their initial label sampler released earlier this year - is a melange of beats, chants, noise and confusion.
It's hard to imagine where and how I Can Count found most of the incumbents of this record, particularly as there are meant to be A&R men paid a handsome wage by corporate organisations masquerading as record labels to do this sort of thing, but boy, they've managed to unearth several gems here.
Ambient guitar sounds are the order of the day on The Lost Levels' 'Take It All', while Beauty Skool Dropout come over all Helen Love cavorting with Hadouken! On the irrepressible 'Saturday Night'.
Elsewhere, Sportsday Megaphone's 'Less And Less' makes a play for being the Big Smoke's answer to Napoleon IIIrd while Tell Me How press as many buttons as The Orb without any of the elongated dullness that accompanies their more celebrated (we think) heroes.
In all, there isn't really a duff track on this compilation, and only a pessimist would bet against at least one of these artists going to bigger and more lucrative pastures in the foreseeable future.
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