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8/10 Clinton Staff review, 13 January 2012
Back in 2009 Make Mine Music released MMM050, a compilation CD to mark their 50th release stating boldly that despite the traditional music business model failing this was a cause for celebration for labels such as theirs who were not bound by conventional music industry restraints and were run by the artists themselves. Three years later, a statement appeared on their website announcing the closure of the label citing diminishing sales and illegal downloads. Proof, perhaps, that it's virtually impossible to hand run a record label these days without a) losing money hand and foot and b) driving yourself insane, and that the impact on homespun labels is greater than anyone could have imagined. But 10 years doing anything ain't bad going at all and this compilation showcases a fair share of success stories. Epic 45's ambient interlude 'Field and Stream' belies the fact that they sell a healthy amount of records, increasing organically with each release rather than the big push and fail that floors many other bands. July Skies too have garnered national press, here represented by a decent dusty demo from 1998. Library Tapes seem to be on perma-tour with their Scandinavian take on Stars of the Lid type atmospherics and Portal famed for a 2000 era Peel session here collaborate impressively with Piano Magic members. There are plenty of other names too, many brand new to me, mainly ploughing a synthetic ambient furrow, the closing July Skies and Epic 45 collaboration is probably the pick of the bunch, reverb drenched and nestling in a comfy hollow where The Field Mice and Slowdive meet, fall in love and live in perfect harmony. But it doesn't matter what I think, this is limited to 50 copies and with every track exclusive, it will be sold out before you read the opening line of this waffle.
Would have been nice if they'd made a tiny bit of effort with the packaging. It's a bit of photocopied card. It's not even numbered despite being limited to 50. Seems like going out with a whimper rather than a bang
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