Saturday, November 15, 2008

Royally Sparked

Compilations can be a tricky animal to tame. If they're well done, they contain a wide range of tracks that span not only artists but also genres. There-in lies their strength and weakness. To be successful, a compilation turns you onto music that you normally wouldn't have picked up on. It takes you a step or two (or three) outside of your comfort zone. That's where you can run into their weakness. The odds of you finding a whole collection of tracks (a diverse collection I should say) that completely flip your lid is about as great as Britney Spears getting her life under control again. The magic trick that compilations play on you is that they turn you on to a few good artists, good enough that you don't mind listening to the rest that aren't your bag.

That being said, Royally Sparked does an admirable job of walking that line. It's sixteen tracks collect songs from eight different artists, only one of which I had heard before (Spiral Beach). I picked two of the artists who I enjoyed best below, but explore the compilation on your own when you can to make your own discoveries.

The first track below comes from The Two Koreas, a band from Toronto. Their track Return To Oslo (the first of two from them on the comp) gives off serious echos of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.

Visit their label Unfamiliar Records and become their friend on MySpace.

The other track I'll share comes from Son Of Dave. the son in the name is Benjamin Darvill, formally of Crash Test Dummies. His track, Old Times Were Good Times, rolls with a electric rockabilly blues spirit that reminds me of the The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Become his friend on MySpace.

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