V/A – QFG: a compilation

The young French industrial label Parametric is not very modest. After releases by Mlada Fronta and Mimetic, both double albums with excellent design and packed with worthwhile music, now a 3cd compilation is their latest feit of arms. “QFG” comes in a luxurious fold-out digipack, which again looks absolutely stunning. The glossy cover and booklet contain very nice close-up photos by Stella of rusty, oily machinery. The 3 cd’s itself, divided in to ‘q’, ‘f’ and ‘g’ discs, contain a wealth of new electronic music, more than a normal human being can cope with in one day.

I think all or most artists present here are of French origin, and established names stand side to side to many new talents. Amongst the more well-known ats are the aforementioned Mlada Fronta and Mimetic, as well as Von Magnet, Flint Glass, Ab Ovo, Celluloid Mata, Ultra Milkmaids, H.I.V.+ and Lith. A surprising band to be found here is perhaps Morthem Vlade Art, who I would normally more related to darkwave than industrial electronix, but their rather experimental and nice moody contribution fits in well.

There is a system behind the division of the tracks over the three cd’s: ‘q’ contains mostly mid-tempo electronic tracks, raging from experimental to atmospheric, with some twisted breakbeats here and there. ‘f’ is more ambient, whilst the final disc ‘g’ is rather harsh and faster industrial. There is quite some variation in sound and level of experimentation on the compilation.

It’s hard to pick out individual contribution, without doing some of the 45 different acts too less justice. Flint Glass certainly convinced me on disc 1, as well as Gom, NKL, Nimp, Haiku, Mlada Fronta and Rabbits | Sorrow. On the more laidback ‘f’ cd are a few nice moody tracks, like We are Gentlemen, Zonk’t and FinalCut, but there are also some interesting experimental soundscapes present, and even some danceable techno by Mid&Ric. The last disc offers us some loud attacks, of which Milligramme and Lith were the first to cath my attention, with some nice subdued and less straightforward tracks towards the end, like Punish Yourself and Macrocoma. But I would not be surprised that if I give these three discs more listening turns that I will discover more favourites, the vast amount of musical material needs some time to be fully grasped. There are not many pices on the compilation that are suited for fast consumption. I must say that the quality is overall quite high and homogenous, with hardly any superfluous pieces.

Fans of demanding electronic music will certainly find something to fit their tastes here. ‘QFG’ proves that the French electronic/industrial scene is very much alive. Time will tell how many of these acts will rise to a prominent position in the coming years.

artist: V/A
label: Parametric