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Welcome to Soundscape. Our mission is to go one step beyond criticism and shine a light certain corners of music, from specific labels and genres to cities, recurring lyrical themes, and whatever else piques PopMatters interest. In the great tradition of the mixtape, we present these explorations with their actual sound, rather than our customary language.

This installment is a rather poignant retrospective for Scotland’s Benbecula Records. Despite featuring a roster of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic glitch, ambient, avant-garde, and indie artists, Benbecula closed its doors precisely ten years after opening them. Between 1999 and 2009, the label released over 50 albums, CDrs, and dozens of EPs and singles. Notably, they were among the first labels invited to sell at WARP Records’ MP3 site Bleep. Founding member of the Boards of Canada, Christ. was one of the only acts John Peel ever invited to perform an encore on his BBC Radio One program, and his three LPs for the label rank among the finest downtempo/chill records ever made. Scotland and, indeed, the entire music scene worldwide, now has a big hole in it.


Soundscape - Benbecula Records 1999-2009 [MP3]


01. Genaro - “Walk Into the Sun” (Genaro, 2007)
- Start time: 0:00; Links: Benbecula - Genaro

02. Brian Ellis - “Night Trails” (The Silver Creature, 2007)
- Start time: 3:53; Links: Benbecula - Brian Ellis

03. Evil Hand - “Pointless Existence” (In Whole and in Part, 2005)
- Start time: 10:16; Links: Benbecula - Evil Hand

04. Ochre - “Sosacharo” (Lemodie, 2006)
- Start time: 13:00; Links: Benbecula - Ochre

05. Calika - “Enriched by Sea Minerals” (The Bright Spot, 2006)
- Start time: 19:12; Links: Benbecula - Calika

06. Reverbaphon - “Kartoffeln” (Our Heart Beats With Joy (The Curved World Outside), 2004)
- Start time: 23:06; Links: Benbecula - Reverbaphon

07. Jack Marchment - “Paper & Scissors” (Corydon & Manjrekar, 2008)
- Start time: 27:50; Links: Benbecula - Jack Marchment

08. Talkingmakesnosense - “Volumes in G” (Surroundings, 2006)
- Start time: 32:12; Links: Benbecula - Talkingmakesnosense

09. Frog Pocket - “Hey Hope” (Moon Mountain of the Fords, 2003)
- Start time: 37:31; Links: Benbecula - Frog Pocket

10. Christ. - “Marsh of Epidemics” (Seeing & Doing EP, 2005)
- Start time: 42:30; Links: Benbecula - Christ.

11. Araya - “3 Days” (The Bridge of Hesitation, 2008)
- Start time: 48:57; Links: Benbecula - Araya

12. e.stonji - “Nowhere Nside” (Untitled, 2005)
- Start time: 53:17; Links: Benbecula - e.stonji

13. Christ. - “Happyfour Twenty (Prhizzm Remix)” (Vernor Vinge EP, 2006)
- Start time: 56:59; Links: Benbecula - Prhizzm

14. Wounded Knee - “Bools Rules” (Shimmering New Vistas, 2009)
- Start time: 1:01:33; Links: Benbecula - Wounded Knee

Total Running Time: 1:05:29


Soundscape - Benbecula Records 1999-2009 [MP3]


Compelled to words by music since 2004, Ranta's words have appeared in such esteemed publications as Exclaim!, Tiny Mix Tapes, CBC Music, and PopMatters. He also regularly votes for the Polaris Music Prize, Village Voice Pazz & Jop, Juno Awards, and in all local, provincial, and federal elections. Based in East Vancouver, he's been known to a rave and/or rant, cat whisper, play basketball, pessimistically root for the Canucks, and read far too many comment sections. He graduated with distinction from SFU in 2012, with a bachelor's degree in music.

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