Update: We spoke with Alex over email and discussed his introduction to grime and dancehall, his Pacific Northwest roots and the disappointment in seeing bad DJs get bookings in New York. Check it out below the fold.
Alex Compton exists in a world where Lady Saw, Hard Creation and Slowdive meet, a deeply emotive tangle of floating squares, riddims, gabber kicks, rainstorm field recordings and video game soundtracks meet. Currently residing in New York, but hailing from the West Coast, Compton has creeped into our consciousness over the past few years on the back of a series of excelling edits, ranging from a weighty take on Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right (championed by Endgame over the past few months) to a tearjerking take on a Lady Saw freestyle. On the original front, a sino-grime-inspired collaboration with Fallow has been making waves (and showed up in the Manchester producer’s Astral Plane mix) and a few ambient-leaning bits have been popping up in left-leaning sets here and there.
For the most part though, Compton is something of an unknown entity, avoiding the well worn imitator hat while delving out a sonic space for himself somewhere alongside the aforementioned touchstones. His Astral Plane mix sheds some light on possible contemporaries, from TCF and Rabit to Young Thug and Mica Levi, but the most common thread is an overriding notion of feeling and sentiment. Avoiding the sense of dread and paranoia that so often permeates experimental electronic forms, Compton’s music seems to touch on loss, love and hope without any preamble and while it is largely instrumental music it retains a tenderness and humanity. We’re in the midst of talking with Compton about the mix and his music so look out for an extended interview in the next week or so. In the meantime, dive into the mix and check out the track list after the jump.