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Various artists

Water Communication

Swim is something of an enigma among record labels having quietly crept in the back door of the music world. Its output is fairly diverse and so for those who are unsure whether Swim is right for them, this compilation is an ideal solution.

This is more than just a sampler though, as the bulk of the tracks were either unreleased at the time or only available on vinyl. Despite being a stylistically varied bunch there's some real quality here. Disc one begins with Colin Newman's Spaced In from Bastard and Immersion's pacey Metal Sea. Other highlights include a drumless mix of Plastic Venus' Kiss and two Pablo's Eye tracks, the second of which, Cypher, is a beautiful piece of electronica and probably the compilation's finest moment.

Disc two is perhaps a more sedate affair with airy Oracle and Immersion remixes, at least until the fantastic, breakneck Ronnie and Clyde track Cinnebar kicks in. g-Man's Chinned finishes the disc with style, overlaying slightly imperfect beats and rhythms in an alternative take on club music.

This is a great compilation of rarities, both for the beginner and the non-vinyl buying Swim fan, and good value with two CDs for the price of one.

Craig Grannell (1998)

Cover artwork