Various Artists – Vanishing Standards

2.18.20 by Ryan Masteller

Amek Collective has emerged from Eastern Europe – Bulgaria in particular – as a force to be reckoned with in the experimental tape game. I’m here to perpetuate the legend of the label far and wide – well, at least to you goofballs who regularly check this site for some reason. (I know it ain’t for the podcast. That thing is intolerable.) So how does one not knowledgeable with said label make inroads into its catalog without feeling overwhelmed? 

With a compilation of course.

Even so, “Vanishing Standards” isn’t ALL Amek artists – in fact, it’s “an effort to reach outside [the label’s] creative circle and explore the music of fellow artists who share a similar vision for contemporary electronic music.” But it wouldn’t be a label comp without SOME familiar names, would it? How about ate – that’s it, lowercase “ate” – who pairs with Randomorb on the ambient opener “Sequence_01”? That’s a good start. Add in some Valence Drakes, whose “An Angel in Alliance with Falsehood” I’ve juuuust recently covered. Mytrip hops aboard for the joint effort “Lies That Were Built and Observed.” Ergomope’s back too (Tiny Mix Tapes [RIP] and I have you covered for that one). I’m pretty sure I wrote about Vague Voices for Tabs Out … somewhere. I KNOW I wrote about LATE – I think that was my intro to Amek. 

But the n00bs are just as consistently excellent. Phlp. kicks in some heavy darkwave with “Immobility.” Yuzu is frighteningly abstract on “Catcher” until the beat drops. Closer “Recovery” by krāllār is heartbreaking ambience interrupted by static. And perhaps no track is as tuneful as Maxim Anokhin and Ivan Shopov’s “Angela,” a trip-hop soundtrack to a sleek nocturnal urban future. That’s not all of them either – this thing’s a C86, so there’s TONS to sink your teeth into, depending on whether you want to get a sense of what Amek’s like or whether you’re interested in the Eastern European experimental scene in general. And don’t get me wrong – this tape’s on Amek, so it makes sense for all these artist’s to appear on an Amek comp. They’re kindred spirits. This is their and our and your introduction.

And what’s with these vanishing standards? Nothing of that sort here, not that I can tell.

Tape limited to 133 copies, probably because there are a lot of artists to give these out to. Get them into the hands of the people!

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