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The famous cartoonist Daniel Clowes once captioned a frame with the warning that "in the future... nothing will be created. Old ideas will simply be perpetually rehashed, recycled and recombined, until every combination has been exhausted at which point THE WORLD WILL END!" If anything, Clowes did not predict the future, he predicted the kind of clichés that people would be making about contemporary music and art - declarations of musical end-times seem very much the flavour of the month.

Gleefully ignoring the finger-wagging of those who think that art must arise from some form of immaculate conception, Adrian Younge implores his fellow recording artists to "revise old ideas to stay progressive." Younge probably knows what he's talking about; after all, he's been producing the likes of Laetitia Sadier, Loren Oden and his own debut, Adrian Younge Presents Venice Dawn. It's no surprise that his listening habits are just as varied as his work as a producer, being a vocal fan of the analogue-synth zealots Stereolab. He has just started a new label, and has christened it with a compilation of works from his previous output, entitled Los Angeles.

Younge has developed a vision of style for his label, very much in the way that Ghost Box Records, Stax or Factory have done and in the case of Ghost Box, continue to do. Like these labels, Linear Labs is committed to strict stylistic rules; self-described as 'retro-futurist', they adhere to only recording music on analogue tape, and utilise classic recording techniques. It's not the first time that utilising old recording processes have been used to create a new, modern sound. R.E.M.'s Murmur was recorded stubbornly with old recording techniques, such as placing a drummer in a drummer's booth (an old fashioned option in the '80s). The decision to split from the conventional '80s useage of synths and gated, reverb-heavy drums made the band sound fresh, rather than dated. Younge is not ashamed to nerd-out over music production's history, taking hints from past successes, and it's entirely to his advantage; his willingness to experiment with styles and production values has only given him a greater arsenal of sound.

Only one track in, and it's immediately easy to hear the kind of vision that Younge seeks to build. 'Memories of War' features guest vocals from Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab herself. Her contemplative lyrics are surrounded by a familiar combination of Chemical Chords-era analogue electronics, with an unconventionally rich bass-end and a relaxed beat. In a seamless transition (quite remarkable for a compilation), 'Memories of War' dissolves into the bombastic, slightly regal sounding '1969 Organ', which as its namesake suggests, features some truly crazy but undoubtedly excellent organ riffs. The psych-soul influence is strong on 'Feel Alive' with Karolina and Loren Oden's vocals invoking the sweet vocal range of Minnie Riperton and the organ-driven, psychedelic accompaniment of her former backing band, Rotary Connection. Linear Labs' ambition to become a definitive new label for hip-hop artists becomes clear with 'Return of The Savage', featuring the likes of Ghostface Killah, RZA and Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan. It's a very strong track, setting the standard high for the label's future releases.

'Chicago Wind' is taken from the soundtrack to Scott Sanders' modern blaxploitation film Black Dynamite. Its opening bars set an uneasy tone, with a haunting toy organ that makes one think readily of Broadcast's soundtrack to Italian horror Berberian Sound Studio. This uneasiness soon gives way though, to the soulful, gentle vocals of Toni Scruggs. A comparison can be drawn between this introduction and that of Scott Walker's 'Its Raining Today' with its juxtaposition of Walker's rich vocals with the background paranoia of its shrill strings. Though what Younge chooses to do here is slightly different, making the track's odd segue of toy organs into soulful vocals sound like a perfectly natural occurrence.

Los Angeles, then, does what it sets out to achieve; to be a great retrospective of Adrian Younge's career as producer so far, while setting the kind of standard we can hope to hear from his new label, Linear Labs. Unlike many artists who gawp in horror as pretty much every piece of recorded music becomes available via the Internet, Younge has, over the years, taken this as more of an opportunity to expand his listening and his recording techniques. As can be seen from this compilation, this has paid off well.

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