Label: Full Time Hobby Release date: 16/08/10 Link: Website Full Time Hobby could be seen as one in a chain of very cool labels to come out of London in recent years. They’re undeniably cool – look at the track listing (and look at the sale section of their store too) but the difference between Full Time Hobby and some of the other record labels is that Full Time Hobby do it well consistently. Really well. Here we are given 8 of the strongest tracks from the Full Time Hobby back catalogue, from some of it’s bigger names (Fujiya and Miyagi, Micah P Hinson) to some of it’s more undiscovered gems (White Denim, Tunng). While there is no duff track on here, there is one problem – why only 8 tracks long? Full Time Hobby have a large-ish catalogue of music, spanning over 5 years, including artists such as The Accidental, Viva Voce and Autolux on just their current roster, not to mention any alumni. However, what we’re given is good – we have Erland and The Carnival’s approach to upbeat narrative sounds, like a soft tempered Nick Cave, School Of 7 Bells’ typically soaring but gentle epic-ness reminiscent of Galaxie 500 in places, Micah P Hinson’s country styled folk, Tunng’s wonderful 60’s sounding psychadelia, Malcolm Middleton at his best since his Arab Strap days, complete with a brilliant spoken word piece , Fujiya and Miyagi’s brilliantly absurd scatting approach to funky bass driven tracks, to the Leisure Society’s beautiful slow twanging sounds until finally White Denim’s approach to taking rock and psychadelia and evolving it into something modern – think The Equals if they mated with Led Zep and travelled forward 40 years and still sounded fresh(Fits was one of my albums of last year). To put it simply – this is a collection of good tracks. But much like their previous compilation Not Doing It for The Quids, it’s just a collection of tracks, not a coherent or smooth compilation. It’s a sampler, something to listen to once if you don’t know the bands, rather than a beautiful compilation. It’s difficult to get this right for a record label, but considering they are not lacking in artists or tunes, it’s not impossible. For a good example of creating a coherent compilation, look at fellow Londoners No Pain In Pop and their self titled 2009 compilation. That had diversity but ran smoothly and bore repeat plays, two aspects which this album doesn’t have. Look at it this way: if you’ve not heard of these bands, buy this. They are great bands and all of the songs will help you into all of them. But if you know the bands, love the albums and want a compilation like Androgynous Anonymous make, or Optimo make, or Prins Thomas makes, then this isn’t for you. Photobucket