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Various Artists

Project: Bicycle

(Ache; US: 6 Jun 2006; UK: 24 Jul 2006)

The concept is fairly simple—take a studio recording of a bicycle, hand it off to an international roster of accomplished sound artists, and collect them on a single compilation celebrating one of the world’s most popular, affordable and environmentally safe methods of transportation. The saturated green artwork isn’t just for aesthetics, as the six panel essay by Canadian Green Party Candidate Sean Orr speaks eloquently about the benefits of riding a bike. Oh right, right, the music. Well, like any compilation it’s a hit and miss affair, but it remains a fascinating document of how different people can interpret one single sample. The rules were that the songs could only be constructed from that single source and the artists work some wonders. Ache Records label head Andy Dixon AKA Secret Mommy delivers a fantastic piece of work with “Gas Prices”, another addition to his catalog of critically acclaimed work. Jason Forrest AKA Donna Summer deviates from the rules just a little, but delivers his usually fantastically frenetic style of electronic music. And between the minimal and maximal styles here, Project Bicycle’s artists provide plenty to digest. But be forewarned, listening to this in a car might cause slight pangs of guilt.

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