set up to release the fractured and melodic. this second compilation from stolen recordings is DIY alt-rcok at its best. kicking off with the fantastic 'Heartbreaker' by Mathew Sawyer and the Ghosts it packs in 22 more gloriously strange tracks.

-Dazed and Confused

Welcome back to the international pop underground. the year is 2007; we're in the UK. Everything is distorted, upbeat, magical- everything is bright, shining, ringing. The sound of a thousand pop kids with just enough cynicism in their hearts, clutching guitars and keyboards to their chests, bashing them, thrashing them. The names, to me, are legendary already; to mark alongside IPU names form the past such as The Chills, The Bats, Beat Happening, TV personalities, Kicking Giant, Marine Girls. Names like Pete and the Pirates, Tap Taps’ elusive, effusive groove, the delectable shimmering otherness of Mathew Sawyer and the Ghosts, Pet Politics’ melancholy succour the Godlike unapproachable acappella genius of Spinmaster Plantpot. Jesus, there are 23 of them here, on the verge of another quiet revolution as the world spins on, regardless. Fucking nice.

-Everett True, Plan b Magazine

"This is the second compilation from stolen recordings and it's limited to 500 copies in their usual high quality packaging. it contains music from britain, europe, america and japan. and is impossible to describe simply. the 'great british weird' of the factory owners, mathew saywer and the ghosts 'stunning depth and wistfulness', californian / japanese fuzz from black patterns from saturn, the ghost of flying nun manifesting in a 19 year old from london with artefacts for space travel. then the gorgeous sadness of blanket and the surreal oxen of the sun. pete and the pirates with the distorted pop of 'knots'. screaming tea party 'nexus of electricity' and japanese poetic lyrics. the broken and tender 'charlie may' from candy. the instrumental strangeness of 'demon fountain' with jim white on drums. the epic, glorious 'tearaway' and young city drinking with the hot silk pockets 'panda eyes'. the brilliant ghost club and the beautiful 'ski kichigai-o'. the classic 'dark blue sea' from sweden's pet politics. and more from the pop perfect tap tap. and lots more...unknown and amazing music."

-Rough Trade (spotlight feature 2nd July)


Even better than last year’s 21 track compilation, Stolen’s second compilation collects 23 examples of the sound of now. There’s a real sense of spontaneity about this record, of capturing the moment, and the label augments the Stolen roster with bands on other UK labels and further afield (Sweden, Japan and New Zealand). You might not like every track – difficult when it goes from guitar noise assaults, extreme electronica and gentle folkadelica – but everything is new, wired and vital.

There are so many good songs that everyone could programme their own compilation of favourites from this record. Mine would start, as this album does, with Matthew Sawyer and the Ghosts whose Modern Lovers-style bright pop chaos of ‘Heartbreaker’ contains a thrilling swirl of darkness. Stolen release the Blue Birds Blood album in September (it’s out on Catbird in the US now) and on the basis of this song I’m desperate to hear it now. To my tracklisting of faves I’d add another Catbird artist, Pet Politics, whose pine-scented Swedish Americana, ‘Dark Blue Sea’, is redolent of Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

Stolen’s own Pete and the Pirates produce some short but pacey clatterpop on ‘Knots’ while the wonderful Tap Tap pound away on ‘If You Can Dance’. Hot Silk Pockets would easily find a way in with their rhythmic dance pop (‘Panda Eyes’ - shades of Love is All). For noise, Screaming Tea Party’s punky-pop ‘Between Air and Air’ stands comparison with the mighty Mclusky while Shimmy Rivers and Canal have the same C86 atonal blasts as Bogshed and Big Flame on ‘Hadrian’s Wall’. For variety I’d add the Abba meets My Bloody Valentine tortured but melodic electropop of The Temporary Shelters’ ‘Tearaway’, The Blanket’s ethereal goth-folk weirdness of ‘Vroom Vroom Bang Bang Bang’ and the shy girlie indiepop of Jesus Licks and their ‘Marry Me’.

If you’re ever feeling jaded by all the Kooks, Nashs and Penates stinking up the indie world, throw this brilliant record in your CD player for a breath of what’s fresh.