Review of Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind 4 Album by Various Artists

Sydney based independent Modular Recordings have been one of the most forward thinking labels on the planet since their conception fifteen years ago. Initially responsible for launching the careers of artists like The Living End and The Avalanches, they've become something of a benchmark for fledgling labels trying to gain a foothold within the industry. It's this eclectic approach that has helped cement their reputation, and this year alone has seen excellent releases from fellow Sydney dwellers Canyons and highly recommended Perth collective Pond among their enticingly exciting catalogue.

Various Artists Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind 4 Album

One of the highlights in Modular's vast array of previous works is the popular 'Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind." series. First launched at the start of 2006 featuring a host of the previous year's most exciting crossover acts between the fields of dance and rock, their heady concoction of beats and riffs has helped create a living room club vibe all of its own. Although it's been three years since the last compilation of its kind, 'Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind.' makes a welcome return with its fourth instalment.

Comprised of thirty-eight pieces of music across two CDs, it's a delightful mix that veers off into previously unchartered territories when least expected. While the first CD is essentially a mix CD from Aussie house duo Bag Raiders, it's on the second CD that Modular's ear for a tune really comes to the fore.

While the aforementioned Canyons open proceedings in impeccable style, fusing knowing countrified jams with repetitive loops not a million miles from Neu! and company, its the lesser-feted likes of Jonathan Boulet and Dom that steal the show here. The former's heavily orchestrated lo-fi jam 'You're A Animal' takes Modular into the muddier waters more familiar to labels like Captured Tracks or Slumberland. Meanwhile the latter's exquisite angular chamber pop anthem 'Damn' makes for an even more welcome diversion from the norm.

Add a staple diet of the ever-dependable Cut Copy, electronic voyeur Matthew Dear and chillgazers Toro Y Moi and you've an inspired collection of choice cuts equally withstanding for a club or after-hours environment.


Dom Gourlay