Various Artists
NO! [CS; NO]

Sometimes it’s hard to be a proud Hoosier. I spent 8 years in Seattle trying to wash its stink from me. The state’s in an odd position, as the old guard mounts one last charge to maintain its conservative grip on an emerging youth culture that is fine with homosexuality, perversion, and artistic endeavors. So it’s why labels such as No and their aptly titled NO! compilation stand as a testament not only to musicians young and old coming together in the name of community, but pushing Indiana forward one reluctant sycophant at a time. NO! boasts internationally known Bloomington residents (Drekka—who runs his own BlueSanct label—and John Flannelly, who has releases on favorite B-town ripper Auris Apothecary) and emerging noisemakers (NOON and Agakus). It’s a grand mixture of electronic experimentation, each with a different approach despite the collective umbrella. Most striking is Agakus’ “Last Reichs,” a literal collection of evil dialogue and not-so-distant warfare. It calls out to the old Indiana guard, who would sacrifice freedom and and openness for an atmosphere of unchanging fear. It’s a similar path blazed by each of these moody pieces; darkness is surrounding and in turn it is infecting the music. But what can be heard in each composition is the end of an era — the shroud being lifted and the world gifted a new frontier to explore. Be it in law or in melody, NO! raises the torch and lights the way forward.

Links: NO


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