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Various Artists | Tracks for Horses (Melodic)
One of a clutch of worthy imprints prepared to try and create a niche of their own, this is the second compilation showcasing up and coming leftfield label Melodic, following 2002's 'A Room Full of Tuneful'. On first listen, 'Horses' doesn't quite have the impact of its predecessor, seemingly concentrating too much on diversity and less on cohesion, and losing something in the process. Not so much a criticism of the individual tracks, the majority of which are very good; it is, of course, perfectly possible to throw together a number of great records and end up with a disjointed end product - even back in the days of home-made compilation tapes one would give deep forethought with regard to running order and the like. That said, the album improves on subsequent plays as the highlights stand out in their own right, with notable contributions from Minotaur Shock, The Earlies, The Memory Band and Micah P Hinson leading the way, and only the occasional blip (such as the novelty pointlessness of Audiowhore's Roy Walker-sampling It's Good But It's Not Right) interrupting proceedings.

Andy Slocombe
March-April 2004