Compilation review: Noctambulant Sound Records – Noctambulism VA

Breaks, Techno, Dubstep, Grime, Bass, Leftfield, Electro – Noctambulant Sound Records live by the need for the alternative. The label was started in 2019 by Temple Sniper – who also features on the compilation – with the aim of providing a platform for the more leftfield side of electronic music, after noticing the underrepresentation by the more established labels.

Their latest Various Artists compilation has contributors hailing from Glasgow to Dumbarton, Sheffield, Hampshire, London, and North Carolina. These include artists featured previously on the label: DZee, Temple Sniper, Denizens, and Thiskk, and new blood in the form of Amstrad Billionaire, SlugRifle, JD Finburg, Hommel, MAKS, Connor Byrne, and Drumheller.

There are many standout tracks on this one, but to pick a few we’ll start with ‘Aktuator’ by MAKS. Hailing from Yorkshire, MAKS includes some northern English brass within his dark and ghostly piece of music, filtering lo-fi and breaks to get the foot-stomping before building to an understated but high-calibre drum n bass track.

Next up is Hommel, with ‘Beads (Dub Mix)’. Hommel delivers oldskool D’n’B vibes with off-beat chords and an accomplished rhythm section. The complexity of the breakbeat and the deep bass all marry to provide flashbacks to a warehouse rave hidden off the M8 somewhere. Serious dance material.

DZee returns to the label having previously performed remix duties, this time with his track ‘S37’. An industrial electro stomper, DZee crosses the Atlantic with elements of durty souf trap music commonplace in North Carolina. A tension-laden affair that has an unnerving energy to it; side effects include delirium & dancing.

‘Perdu a Paris’ by Connor Byrne has connotations of underground raving in the French capital – that is until you hear the vocal excerpt of Paris Hilton explaining her DJ fee and what little she does for it. Connor does well to capture the energy derived from the disappointment of the DJ scene in certain circles. Swelling sub-bass, crystal wind chime synth, thrashing hi-hats and hi-NRG on this one.

Noctambulism VA was released 7th of May on Bandcamp and Soundcloud

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