Some people frown or turn their noses up at compilation albums, I have never understood this attitude. Personally, I think it is because these people either don’t really like music and are too busy buying the ‘right’ t-shirt or, are just saying it for effect. As for me I love them. I grew up listening to ‘Motown Chartbusters’ , ‘ Stax-From The Vaults’ and ‘Atlantic Gold’. My first tentative steps into the world of music would be through such genre defining classics such as ‘Metal For Muthas’, ‘Axe Attack’ and ‘Punk and Disorderly’ and no music collection would be complete without at least one volume of ‘Tighten Up’. The thing is in the digital age, is there really a need for what really equates to an antique playlist? Well of course, there is. And those who tell you otherwise probably spend a lot of time shouting at cars.
The place for the modern compilation is not only as a promotional tool but something more unique, something that both collectors and those with a casual interest in a scene or style, would be willing to part with their hard earned shekels for. ‘Paper Leaves’ which has been released to celebrate 25 years, yes 25, of Terrascope and its various activities, ticks all the above boxes.
We have the brilliant ‘Black Tempest’ kicking things off in sublime style on a kind of Orby Vangelis trip, which gives away to the much revered ‘Nick Nicely’ who offers a a wonder slice of psych pop. Dead Sea Ape are next, and I don’t have to tell you how much I like them, but their ability to create the theme tune to the Mars landscape is something to celebrate. The much loved ‘White Hills’ close side with something far more Krautrock than all out rock and boy does it work.
Side two opens with ‘Ben Chasny’ of ‘Comets On Fire’ offering us something more stripped down and bluesy. This is followed by possibly my favourite track, ‘The Left Outsides’ takes an old folk ballad, namely ‘A Young Girl Cut Down In Her Prime’ and stretches it into over eight haunting minutes. We all know how good ‘The Bevis Frond’ are and their offering ‘Back In The Churchyard’ is a fantastic garage rocker. The album closes with ‘Bardo Pond’ and what a wonderful way to close the album, we get eleven epic ‘Bardo Pond’ minutes, that seem to soar and climb before crashing back down to earth like a psychedelic Icarus.