[9 July 2007]
Although many independent record companies choose to specialize in one style, not all small labels are content to focus on niche markets. The Brooklyn-based CrystalTop Music, for instance, accommodates diverse genres, including jazz, electronica, soul, folk, and country. Many of the artists on the label’s new compilation, CrystalTop Music Presents, explore several of these styles on a single track. If any general consistency underlies their releases, it is an aesthetic defined by smoothness and sophistication. CrystalTop Music Presents works equally well as a standalone listening experience or as an introduction to the little-known but excellent musicians featured on the disc. Tracks by Elizabeth and the Catapult, Ryan Scott, Christina Courtin’s Running Kicks, and Aidan Hawken immediately stand out, but every song on the album is worthwhile, and the collection will likely inspire many listeners to dig deeper into the CrystalTop catalog.