Artist : Various Artists

Name : MANUALism 7.0

Label : Manual Music

Release : 23.12.2013

Genre : Electronica/Progressive/Techno

Review by Andy Howarth

Started in 2005 by Paul Hazendonk, Manual Music was started as a platform to promote Electronica and Techno in its many guises. Every year, Manual would treat to world to a collection of exciting new music from its own stable, and after 6 years he’s returned with Manualism 7.0

There’s a huge array of music styles featured on this LP, ranging in tone from the live orchestral bombast of ‘Roses’ by Alice Rose, to the pulsing brutality of Felix Cage’s ‘I Am The Night’. As an overview of the broad-reaching scope of Manual Music, it’s certainly an eclectic effort. There’s material here that will appease fans of the shoegazing end of the Techno spectrum (those who count Ricardo Tobar and Dominik Eulberg amongst their list of preferred artists), as well as fans of the darker more intricate veins of Progressive House (i.e. Guy J, Robert Babicz etc).

However, with such vast array of music persuasions on offer here, it’s very hard to pin the album down in terms of recommending it to any particular type of person. Certainly variety is the spice of life, but a lack of focus can leave you feeling a little disassociated with dish that has been served to you. I won’t go as far as saying it’s a Jack Of All Trades, as that has certain ‘master of none’ connotations, and all the music contained within this release is of an exceptionally high standard.

My final words will simply state that if you are a fan of delicately crafted Electronica, and have an open mind when it comes to challenging new music (which I personally love… as a friend once said to me, easy listening is for Radio 2), you could do a lot worse than to dive headfirst into Manualism 7.0 (or any of the previous Manualism releases for that matter).

About the Author

Born of the Oxfordshire countryside, Andy has always preferred the quaint aspects of life around a historic city to the hustle and bustle of places like London or Birmingham. That said, the desire to satisfy his thirst for live music has led to him fleeing the tranquility of rural life on a regular basis, in favour of regions where the nightlife doesn't have to come to an abrupt end at 3am.