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"No Watches, No Maps"

While the Fat Cat people boast about their committment to introducingfresh new artists, they've played the game relatively safe for theirentire existence. A successful record label has to establish themselvespretty much before they can make bold moves like this one, releasing aCD comprised entirely of demos received by the label from completeunknowns. Fat Cat established themselves by releasing an assortment ofbuzzworthy 12" split singles, sneaking in a relatively unknown act onone side with an established act on the other side. In sales it'scalled the "foot in the door technique" — now that we've got yourattention, try this! The label's intentions are well and this techniquesure paid off.
Conceived over two years ago, this collection gathers 74 minutes ofpeople you most likely have never heard of, many of which will probablynot surface again. While Fat Cat have pointed out that they love all ofthese songs, limitations of the label have only allowed them time,budget and manpower to do full releases of a couple, two of which Com.Aand Duplo Remote have tracks appearing here. The collection issurprisingly impressive, starting off with the brief abrasive noise ofQT?, continuing on with glitch electronica Autechre worshipping soundof Phluidbox, the sci-fi death theme sounds from Jetone and pentatonicAsian taste of Zooey. By the time it reaches the slick production ofthe instrumental Fridge-ish jam, Ukiyo-E's "Val Doonican," the grandscope of the collection is shifted, transforming it from a collectionof random electronics to something more. At this point, the compilationof unknowns begins to strangely mirror a well-constructed soundtrack oran 80s-era cassette-only comp. Changes continue when the poundingabrasive head nodding track from Moneyshot bursts in, a melancholypiano piece from Beans arrives a few tracks later, followed by moreelectronic and organic contributions including the gorgeous low-temposubmission from Cytokine.
While each of the 19 songs on here are quality work, it's easy to tellthat all of these artists are still in the infancy of their careers,with much more to learn about originality, composition and production.Much like releases like the "Rising from the Red Sand" comps forexample, I'm predicting this disc will become one of those collectablereferences on discographies popping up years from now. On the horizonfor the label is a section on their website with exchanges of musiclike this and hopefully more collections.