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Various Artists Kalk Seeds: Karaoke Kalk Compilation #2

This Berlin-based label has never been afraid to take risks, releasing micro-minimal and electro-pop gems since the late 1990s by artists like Senking and Ekkehard Ehler’s März. On its second comp, 17 wide-ranging tracks defy immediate classification. What to make of The 23s’ “The Longest Moment (Still Lasting),” Toog’s “L’esprit de L’inventeur,” or Wechsel Garland’s “Tiny Stars” except to say that they’re all lovely, quirky pop tunes that grab and don’t let go? Leichtmetall’s “Im Paradies” sounds like sugary, 21st century chanson, Donna Regina’s “Vague” is slow, dark, and swampy, and Pluramon’s shoegazy “Turn In” gives the overworked sub-genre a booming backbeat and exciting new life. Not everything works here, but when it does it’s real damn good.

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