V.A. - High Road (Red Motorbike)

There doesn't seem to be much brouhaha afoot for High Road, the first compilation on Eddie C's class Red Motorbike imprint, which is surprising to say the least, as it's without a shred of doubt the best thing I've picked up this year so far. Are kids just not into 2x12" packages these days? Or is lazy listening to blame and is a dozen of tracks too much to handle? I know I'm guilty of the latter, as I tend to click on anything that moves on the big retailers' pages, listen for two seconds, yawn, throw up in my mouth a little from time to time and move on to the next thing.

With High Road, I didn't even bother clicking, I just asked our record man to add it to my order without listening, as we've been collecting all these cheeky Canadian 45s on Seven Inches of Love, Common Edit and Red Motorbike for years now. High Road ended up on the bottom of a fat pile of new twelves however. I flicked through it when it arrived thinking 'ok these are well nice' but shoved a few new bangers in the front of the bag and forgot about it for a week or two. When I finally did find the time to sit down and have a proper listen, I was completely blown away. Not only did Eddie line up la fine fleur of the Canadian dusty disco scene, he also managed to squeeze some of their best work to date out of them for a compilation that is definitely more than the sum of its parts.

El Molito (or The Mole to most of you), who was at the helm of the cult Seven Inches of Love series, gives Dilla a run for his money with an incredibly catchy loopy, choppy, beast with a badass vocal and the perfect guitar lick to set levels to full-on sleaze.

Or Dane & Khotin's lush Pa Pa Pa Paaaa, an adriatic excursion that is the sonic equivalent of sitting in the sun with your best pals with not a care in the world, and everybody's quiet because nothing needs to be said really. We've been staunch fans of Dane and his Common Edit imprint for years, very happy to see him feature on this comp with such a magnificent tune.

Koosh - another producer who's made several appearances on both SIOL and Red Motorbike - takes things back to the floor with some looped up basement gear that reminds me of those seven inches on Black Cow that came out a while ago, majestic deepness for discerning jocks this.

And that's just three of the 12 tracks on offer. Ed himself also adds four absolute melters to the manifest, having a hard time picking my favourite. The upbeat opener Where We Going with its sweet piano lines and Ed's trademark drums? The spaced out rhodes of So Remoteman? His cheeky rework of JJ Cale's Ride Me High? No, I think it's the deep as balls Astrology for reason's you'll understand when you have a listen below.

All these bits, and other amazing contributions by the likes of Hreno and Cem G, fit together so well they somehow sound like the soundtrack to the perfect arthouse film, one that has it all: adventure, comedy, melancholy, ecstasy, struggle, pain, fun, loss and love, it's all in there, without trying too hard, without going straight for the jugular. I'm so happy I lazily added this to my collection, I've had both discs stuck on the decks for two weeks now. And brownie points for the rad stencil that was tucked away in the package, so very punk rock. 

Have a listen to the rest of the tunes here and buy yourself a copy, promise you won't regret it.


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