Switched On – Various Artists: @0 curated by Coldcut & Mixmaster Morris (Ahead Of Our Time)

What’s the story?

The value of music for our mental wellbeing is fully recognised in this compilation from Coldcut‘s label Ahead Of Our Time.

With 50% of their net receipts going to CALM, Black Lives Matter and Mind, they have set a rather wonderful set of conditions. Not only 8s the ambient music set to ease troubled minds and enhance, wellbeing, but the proceeds will too.

The compilation is available in separate tracks on LP and CD, and also in mix form thanks to Mixmaster Morris.

What’s the music like?

Both relaxing and enchanting. In the unmixed selection, the soft voices of Julianna Barwick give the listener a warm welcome with Star Ray, before the fuzz of Sigur Ros and Rembihnútur.

Laraaji‘s Illusion Of Time is like a comforting breeze, while the friendly tones of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s Mt Baker are like a musical hug.

Ryuichi Sakamoto‘s Aqua is intimate and expressive, it’s piano texturesnicely contrasted by a reworking of. James Heather‘s And She Came Home. The music of Suzanne Ciani is like soft precipitation, as are the consoling waves of Nailah Hunter, while the twisted tendrils of Helena Hauff and Mira Calix suggest icy, ghostly textures.

The Daniel Pemberton and FSOL collaboration Behind The Eyes is like a bubbling spring with its piano and busy electronics, while one of the most distinctive tracks is The Fire Burns Out, a kind of squeezebox drome from Coldcut themselves. Finally The Drift Home offers some lovely stillness from Steve Roach.

Does it all work?

Yes – and even more so in the mixed version, where no fewer than 30 tracks are beautifully blended together. The new talent is notable too – with deserving mentions for Obay Alsharani and David Wenngren.

Is it recommended?

It is – a collection to savour in the small hours, and one that proves easily capable of soothing the fevered brow.




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