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August '10

Culture Deluxe Compilation Review

As a venture set up just five years ago by two teenagers wanting to introduce a solely singles (release format, not dating status) label to the music scene, Young and Lost has done pretty damn well for itself. To celebrate their mini-milestone birthday, the label have decided to release a 35 track compilation record packed with releases by some of their best signings, including Noah and the Whale, Bombay Bicycle Club, Everything Everything, Johnny Flynn, Larrikin Love and Good Shoes to name but a few.

Kicking off the party is Vincent Vincent and the Villains, Young and Lost’s first ever signing, whose two featured tracks Blue Boy and The Boy who Killed Time were the label’s first releases. Luckily Vincent and his pals with their barbershop quartet-esque melodies and good ol’ rock and roll style instrumentals proved to bode well for the launch of the label and subsequently do just as good a job in preparing us for the remainder of the record. Current indie darlings Bombay Bicycle Club feature with Evening/Morning, a heady mix of guitar riffs and shakily assured vocals before New York scenesters The Virgins swoop upon us with a taster of their uber-cool punk-pop via annoyingly catchy One Week Of Danger. Planet Earth bring the tone back down a notch, their beautifully lugubrious harmonies presenting a sound not too distant from one of Young and Lost’s biggest successes, Noah and the Whale. With both the jovial Five Years Time and in contrast the more melancholy Blue Skies featuring by the latter artist, we’re given a glimpse into not only how the label’s artists have developed but the label itself. Although the bustle of guitars and slew of hasty vocals still feature in many bands on their rostra, the more recent inclusion of electro and slightly contorted sounds by acts such as Everything Everything and Oh Minnows demonstrates that founders Nadia Dahlawi and Sara Jade are as keen to explore new avenues as their acts are.

Everyone knows a compilation is usually released as a quick money-spinner. Supporters of Y&L are devoted and snap up special editions and limited releases like their lives depend on it, so chances are that the label’s hardcore fanbase already own the majority of tracks on this record. Nonetheless, it acts as a great overview for enthusiasts and a brilliant introduction for anyone new to the Club, all the while demonstrating just how influential a good ethos and a passion for music can really be.