Album Review: Earth City Recordz - FuTuRe SoUnD Of ThE UnDeRGrOuNd VoL 3 (2013) by Mike Hollywood
Manchester-based recording label Earth City Recordz has just released the third compilation in its Future Sound of the Underground series (of label samplers). I picked up a download a few weeks back and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it ever since.
The main guy behind Earth City Recordz is Muhammad Hamzah. I’ve been following him via social media for a while now and it’s unlikely there’s a harder working artist-producer-DJ-social and/or political commentator out there. His output as an artist working under the Celt Islam and The Analogue Fakir monikers, both live and in the studio, is prolific, and he’s relentless at supporting the work of other artists, getting it out there, in whatever form, wherever, and whenever he can.
As label samplers go, FuTuRe SoUnD Of ThE UnDeRGrOuNd VoL 3 is a very generous listen at 23 tracks over the course of more than 130 minutes, it showcases a wide range of artists, and features a genuine hybrid of styles. And just like Celt Islam’s best work, there’s a borderless feel about much of this compilation, as you’d tend to expect from such an ethnically diverse mash of nationalities coming together in the name of dub.
Yet to call it dub and stick such a singular label on it fails to give the compilation, or the label, the credit it deserves. Yes, dub, or transnational dub, does appeal as an ideal catch-all, but there’s also large portions of electro, some EDM-indebted stuff, some drum’nbass, dubstep, plus super-sized chunks of that thing we call “world music”.
The highlights are spread fairly evenly across the 23 tracks, the best of which are: MasterMind XS - ‘Far From Here’, Celt Islam - ‘Beyond’, Samia Farah - ‘Al Shams’, Mosienko Project - ‘Kings Valley Dub’, Vel Curve - ‘Tribal Dub’, Oenky & Tompafly - ‘Solitude In Darkness’, 4bstr4ck3r - ‘Mental Stabber’, Demon Dubz - ‘Don’t Stop’, and The Analogue Fakir closes the album with ‘Retro Box’.
Earth City Recordz declares that all music, material, copyrights belong to the artists
and the label owns no one and none of the artists material!