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Various Artists Hobbyism Review

Compilation. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

Pop the corks! West London record label turns six.

Camilla Pia 2010

As independent record labels go, Full Time Hobby isn’t exactly up there with your Rough Trades, your Sub Pops, your Dominos. It’s not yet a name that people tend to casually drop into conversation as a badge of muso know-it-all cool. But that’s not to say that the London-based outfit hasn’t been doing just as good a job as its contemporaries at putting out some of the most original and pioneering sounds around. And it has done it all – sprung into life, quietly thrived and crucially survived – in a decade that has seen the music industry start to unravel, with moneyed majors and indies alike dropping like flies.

Relatively young and unknown it may be then, but Full Time Hobby is still a plucky little mite; a quick glance at Hobbyism’s tracklist will tell you that. It has chosen to celebrate its six years in existence with a glittering compilation of decidedly un-glamorous talent. New and refreshingly un-hyped names rub up alongside some of indie’s most loved and utterly camera-shy, exactly the kind of act the label favours. And so we find the fiercely peerless Malcolm Middleton and Tunng contributing gorgeous efforts along with two dizzying new works from proud non-scene types Erland and the Carnival and School of Seven Bells.

Micah P. Hinson, a classic Full Time Hobby-er, gives us 2’s and 3’s – it’s a clattering warm country number which sounds nothing like and yet, in independent spirit, has heaps in common with Fujiya & Miyagi’s eccentric eerie funk number Taiwanese Boots, as well as with the goosebump-inducing lovelorn We Were Wasted courtesy of The Leisure Society. Finally, White Denim contribute Mirrored & Reversed, closing the party in typically avant-garde, scratchy blues-punk style.

This compilation’s strength is in pushing lovingly handpicked oddities to the fore and celebrating the discovery of the adorably eccentric anti-heroes who make them. And while people may not yet be shouting about the unique work Full Time Hobby does, Hobbyism serves to remind us, ever so subtly in a mere eight tracks, just how worthwhile the whole shebang is.

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