16 Jun 2015

"Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival"

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

It's old news that we're in the midst of a shoegaze revival right? But while the mainstream music press focuses on the big names of old reforming (which certainly is a cause for celebration), many of the indies and blogs seem to be having trouble deciding exactly what they think of the whole situation. Some accuse the revival of having nothing new to offer. Others struggle to consolidate the genre tag with what they're hearing described as shoegaze these days. What many people find hard to accept is that shoegaze is no longer the surly teenager of the music world who refuses to meet your eye. Shoegaze has grown up, and as it's evolved it's opened it's arms to other, complimentary influences.

This mammoth new 30 track collection, curated by Ear to Ear Records and Gerpfast Kolektif, may be the best tool at the revival's disposal to hammer this point home, featuring artists from 16 different countries - this is a truly global phenomenon - all operating under the ever-expanding shoegaze umbrella. And while there are certainly traces of the influence of the genre's trailblazers, this is far from hollow imitation of a bygone era, with a diversity which shows just how much potential the genre has to grow now that it can see past its own fringe.

So aside from the massive guitars and reverb-sodden layers of vocals that one traditionally associates with shoegaze, you'll also find wistful dreampop, neo-psychedelia, post-rock, traces of 4AD that run the spectrum from This Mortal Coil to the Pixies, and in Clustersun's excellent "Hipgnosis" there's even an unlikely Pink Floyd tribute, which is an absolute stunner.

The curators have been careful to avoid covers in their desire to demonstrate that this is a vibrant scene all of its own, and the quality and diversity on display here is unmistakeable. Detractors will be eating their hats, while the rest of us can simply enjoy a superlative collection, on a free/name your own price basis. This collection, fully deserving of its definitive title, should be your first step to understanding, and immersing yourself in the shoegaze revival. Get it here:

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