Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Various Artists
'The Hospital Radio Request List'

After Sony's 'Cigarettes & Alcohol' debacle, you could be forgiven for refusing to admit that compilation albums exist, but thankfully, Sink & Stove Records may be about to provide you with some well-deserved solace. Spawned from Bristol’s currently vibrant music scene, 'The Hospital Radio Request List' is the perfect antidote for such bloated blathering, firmly placing its faith in new artists determined to put their art ahead of their bank balances.

The tight-knit nature of Bristol's post-rock scene is reflected by the large crossover of shared resources, with many of the songs recorded in Sink & Stove owner Ben Shillabeer's studio, who also pops up in Soeza (along with Kiska’s multi-instrumentalist Aaron Dewey) and the Fall Project, while many of the other bands on here feature contributions from a central core of musicians. However, when they are responsible for some of this record’s highlights you can forgive them the occasional touch of incest and nepotism. As such, the jazz-punk-swing of Soeza's 'Young’s Elastic Constant', and the hypnotic lock-grooves of Tortoise types Kiska, are the equal of anything that you’ve found in the NME's On section recently.

'The Hospital Radio Request' also sees rising Bristol's stars flanked by a number of their more established peers, including nearly everyone that’s ever played with PJ Harvey. John Parish weighs in with the spectral '116 N.O.' in addition to providing guitar for the Ideal Husbands; Rob Ellis premiers his new band Christmas; and drummer Jean-Marc Butty turns up with Canadian alt.rockers White Hotel. Elsewhere, James Banbury of the Auteurs showcases his Possessed side-project, and perennial lo-fi blues-man Terry Edwards takes a break from the Tindersticks and Gallon Drunk to bring us the scuzzy jazz of the Scapegoats' 'Asthma'.

As alternative programming on national radio continues to decline, with the lo-fi eclecticism on offer here, from the Aphex Twin whirrings of Vagus Nerve to the deadpan reminiscences of Mano Poderosa, you can be sure that hospital radio is the only channel you’re going to want to listen to from now on.