by Liz Copeland
When, in such a time as this, it becomes necessary to look back and to make evaluations of the past and the various contributions that gave it shape, it becomes a fitting coincidence that the eminent Warp Records happens to be celebrating its 10th anniversary. To illustrate the point, theyve come up with a three-part compilation series thats collectively as brilliant as each of the wicked yet playful records theyve been releasing, one by one, for the past decade.
Each of the three double-disc releases contains a different view of Warp. Exhibiting a striking display of humility with the first in the series, Warp10+1 Influences, an archival study of pre-Warp begins. Showcased are such artists as the Detroit trio (Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins) as well as appropriate respect to the likes of 808 State and A Guy Called Gerald.
Enter Warp Records emergence with Warp10+2 Classics 89-92. Therein find such seminal staples as Nightmares on Wax, Sweet Exorcist, LFO and Tricky Disco and the label founders vision of appealing not only to the dance floor but to the intellect as well becomes realized.
The slightly confusing part comes with Warp10+3 Remixes. Its at this point that the what-would-be original artist contributions from the years 1993 through 1999 including Aphex Twin, Jimi Tenor, Boards of Canada, Autechre and Squarepusher are traded in for all new remixed versions. The result is an incomplete history, but a collectors item if youve already been on the Warp tip. Still, there was never a moment when anyone envisioned Jim ORourke remixing Autechre, Spiritualized placing its touch on LFO or the computer-generated Oval screwing up Squarepusher even more than it already is.
As a set, the series reveals the evolution of a label that has been producing some of this globes most enterprising dance tunes. It is also a fond homage to the last two decades, signifying an era during which electronic music has left an indelible mark on the pages of this centurys history books.