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Various Artists Independents Day : ID 08 Review

Album. Released 2008.  

BBC Review

Independents Day 08 is all about the artists making music for the love, not the money.

Sophie Bruce 2008

This is not just an album. It's a slice of a global revolution. Part of a 4th July musical independence celebration that included radio shows, gigs, and the largest ever auction of independent memorabilia on eBay – this is must-have stuff.

Independents Day 08 is all about the artists making music for the love, not the money. There are some big names on the disc, but they're taking part to support and recommend others. Not many CD inlays feature a full paragraph of impassioned pleas not to copy the CD and a sensible explanation with it.

CD one features established names covering independent artists. Highlights include Jose Gonzalez doing Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart and the unlikely but brilliant partnership of Jarvis Cocker and Beth Ditto on Heaven 17's Temptation.

Honourable mentions go to Rodrigo Y Gabriela's unexpected flamenco guitar version of Metallica's Orion, and The Futureheads again proving their knack for girly covers with a cracking reworking of Robyn's With Every Heartbeat.

On the flipside, Devendra Banhart's folky, alternative Oasis interpretation is virtually unrecognisable from the original and who knows what Beats International will make of Jack Penate's high-pitched-yet-funky cover of Dub Be Good To Me.

CD two is comprised of independent artists recommended by the big names. Highlights are plentiful: Jose Gonzalez's favourite, Little Dragon, are a more together Amy Winehouse. Dance supremo Gilles Peterson's surprising RnB choice, Jose James & Flying Lotus, is sexy like D'Angelo, and Rough Trade were right to recommend Basia Bulat – imagine Paula Cole in the Ting Tings, if you can.

Mobius Band, The Tenderfoot, Goose, Oceansize, Sixteen Layers, Cougar and A. Human also score highly. Plus, all involved have chosen to donate the album royalties to two worthy charities, CALM and MBF.

The only problem with an album like this (and let's face it, they don't come along often enough) is that there genuinely are too many good tracks, by too many independent artists that need recognition, to highlight in one review. The solution? Buy it.

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