Title: 1st Fist and Stroop
Label: Ski-pp (FR)
Format: CD
Catalog: skipp003
Release Date: 2001
Order: Sold Out

There seems to be a never-ending supply of compilations released in the world of electronic music these days, many of which are either remix projects or are label-based, and only a few really stand out. It takes a label with a unique sound or approach to make a worthwhile compilation. One that not only highlights the worthiness of its roster, but also celebrates a particular uniqueness of vision and direction. The new 'birthday' compilation on Ski-pp is a good example of a label-based comp that succeeds in winning over converts to its sound, and in this particular case, does so with a good dose of humour shared among the label mates and their like-minded friends from around the world.

All seriousness is put aside from the get-go with Felix Kubin's "Useless Introduction". I'm not going to give away why the intro is so amusing, but will say that it sets the tone for the cd in a way that highlights the humanity of the artists in the context of their computer-based music and programming. The recurring theme of the artists' humorous reflection of themselves in the digital-audio domain is continued on tracks by Scratch Pet Land, Blectum From Blechdom, and label owners Dat Politics. Many of these tracks border on the odd, most notably the track "Sol 303" by Sonig recording artists Scratch Pet Land that sounds like a Roland 303 attempting to communicate with Yamataka Eye of Boredoms. Things get even weirder when Blectum From Blechdom cut and paste together an ode to breasts on "I Have Mad Cow Disease". Blectum's plunderphonic audio collage soon melts into digital abstraction, and eventually breaks the sound down into a few clicks and cuts.

It's not all cheeky laptop fuckery however. I admittedly bought the cd on the strength of it's one Schlammpeitziger track, and wasn't let down in the least with Jo Zimmermann's moving, lo-fi electronic krautrock contribution. There are some super-solid popsongs on this release as well. Kid 606's "Spacehopper Song" is a happy-go-lucky tune filled with great drill and bass rhythms and tweaky synth melodies. Felix Kubin's musical contribution "Russian Robot in NY" sounds like something from the "Liquid Sky" film soundtrack, only with more blips and bleeps.

There is definitely something for everybody on "1rst Fist & Stroop" as the Skipp sound represents the inevitable reflection of the interaction between the artist and machine, in a humorous and sometimes stylistically accessible way. It's a choice collection of digital pop and glitchy experimentation from around the world that wears its humanity proudly on its sleeve. Highly recommended.



1 Felix Kubin - Useless Introduction
2 Felix Kubin - Russian Robot in NY
3 Kid606 - Spacehopper Song
4 DAT Politics - Back Le Bleichert
5 Scratch Pet Land - Sol 303
6 Schlammpeitziger - Taüscherbeuysvoiced
7 Aelters - Acvit
8 Blectum From Blechdom - I have Mad Cow Disease
9 Scratch Pet Land - Nicobiolo 
10 Tone Rec - Nello
11 Blectum From Blechdom - Take me to the Hospital
12 DAT Politics + Massimo & Uli Troyer - I.S One