5 Years Of NoCorner – The Compilation
5 Years Of NoCorner Music is probably the most fitting title for this mammoth release. after all, ’13 cassettes, Four 7”s, Four 12”s, a triple 12” + 7” box set, 10,225 hand-stamps, and over 600 minutes of music later’ might be a bit of a mouthful. It’s not, however, just a case of looking back in the archives - 5 years has gone past almost obscenely quickly and each one of those 600 minutes has a special place in our hearts - With that in mind, it’s been great to take the opportunity to dust off a few great memories earmark some of our most cherished cuts from the catalogue, and place them along with some exclusive material, and a few pointers towards future NoCorner output. Spread across two cassettes, sealed in a vacuum along with a DL code and some label ephemera, NC5 is now sat here next to us in it’s almost alien housing, shining like a packet of space food ready for astro travel, ready for launch. Across the first tape, which stretches out over 110 minutes, the NC5 compilation manages to draw from the diverse catalogue of past, present and future material, binding a thread, winding it’s way through the angular, singular styles that we’ve come to represent via the label over the years. On this cassette, amongst truly time-tested gems from the past years, you can find a heap of ‘first listens’ and exclusive material from the vast talent that we are so lucky to be surrounded by, at NoCorner HQ. We’ll jump through the tracklist a little, to give a few pointers towards the details of it’s content. Somewhere in the middle, slotted after Systemwide’s dubwise cult classic from 1999, we find ‘Ever Impending Doom’ the title that bears very first material from Bristol’s latest underground development, the Spiritflesh project. Best described as ghostly, percussive sermon from 6 foot below, Spiritflesh is the most fearless project to date from Dj October and Borai. Spiritflesh are lined up for a 12” and a full-length LP on NoCorner in the coming months, but aside from a small run of promo tape in circulation soon, this compilation is the very first place to get a taste. Another previously unreleased highlight, for us, is the chopped bump & grind coming from Ceramics label boss and Bristol operator Kinlaw, who is lined up for a full NC cassette dropping later this year - we’ve heard the whole thing, and it’s pretty damn hot - you’ll see clips doing the rounds soon… Kinlaw’s open the A side of the cassette, where we find a last minute, (and very welcome) surprise addition for the compilation from our close-friend Lurka, who heard NC5 in it’s formative stages (he does the odd mastering job for us) and wanted to get involved. ‘Say no more’, we said, and that was that. His contribution comes in the form of depth-charging ‘Friday Sit In The Dark’. The title pretty much suggests the mood. This is sludgy, skewed dancehall for dimly lit, introspective settings. Another premiere, appears in the form of the collaborative ’Soup Riddim’ by Andy Mac & Ossia, who spent a few sessions in 2015 dusting off scratchy discs, slurping soup, loading up the sampler and dubbing away on the mixing desk for a series of dancehall indebted jams. These cuts remained stashed away for some time, but now they’re finally to be released on a split NoCorner x Stone King 12”. The aforementioned 12” will be released in November, and it’ll drop alongside another split 12”, this time alongside the inimitable Bokeh Versions, teaming up to bring the elusive SeekersInternational (aka SKRS) back for more dubwise goodness in the style of their 2014 Rootprinciple release on NoCorner. This compilation features a cut from the forthcoming 12”, and two gems from their past NC output. Slowing the pace to a hazy immersion into blissed out time lapse, the first side of Tape 1 ends with two beatless tracks from Bristol’s Rodney. He’s another artist who is about to present his debut full-length on the label, and who permits first listen via this package. Flip the tape and tempo is re-adjusted with October, Filter Dread and SKRS dropping their own unique dancefloor styles and obscured versions excursions, just before we jump into a heads-down, gunfinger up, 808 driven rhythm by Hi5Ghost aka Wu-Yen, submitting exclusive heat for this release. Passing via YLTCU x Teeza’s ‘Aquaman’ (damn, it was so hard to pick a favourite from his tape), Robin Stewart (half of Bristol’s most punk techno nutters ‘Giant Swan’) opens the door for a peak into his forthcoming release with the label. Ominous Bath is the title, and it is the feeling. Go on clean yourself with this warm, foamy water. But watch out for that plug hole, no one knows where it leads. Once we’ve climbed back out of this ominous void, we are allowed to wallow in the glow of two Jabu classics from the early 7” catalogue, Move In Circles, and Slow Hours, with chester giles. Last, but certainly not least in the line-up of new stuff for this release, ‘Body Leaves The Room’ (Locking Up) presents the haunting, alluring noir of ‘Mark’, who is scheduled for an excellent full-length release on the label this winter, and who provides a fitting exclusive for this turn-taking, NoCorner round-up of angular music. And that, was just Tape 1. Tape 2, the physical-only bonus cassette, revisits moments from the very first months of NoCorner, in 2012 back then still a hard-knocks DIY cassette label. Going back to to the very first moments in this labels lifespan, the A Side of Tape 2 allows a few extra ears to enjoy the first ever recording of Killing Sound material, the trio of of Vessel, Jabu and El Kid, which later released a stunning set of records for Blackest Ever Black and blew minds with live sets alongside chester giles, but has now entered the graveyard. NC001, the tape which housed this recording, has always been limited to 75 copies, and never saw a digital release, meaning this 17min recording is a pretty rare thing. The B side takes an energy-charge back into the best memories of pirate radio era grime, with the A side of Kahn & Neek’s highly sought after ‘Gorgon Grime’ mixtape / collage. This was the 2nd ever release on NoCorner, and one that sold out in few minutes. This second Tape will remain special to the physical copies of this NC5 project, so you’ll have to get your scissors out and break the vacuum if you want to enjoy this.