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Life and Death: Anthems For No State

"Anthems For No State is strong from track to track"

Compilations are notoriously tricky. When pulling together a number of disparate artists, consistency and context is incredibly hard to maintain, with most compilations ending up as a pick’n’mix rather than a success.

Celebrating Life and Death’s 10th Anniversary, ‘Anthems For No State‘ does an incredible job, creating a collection, which is strong from track to track, equally suited for home listening or able to translate straight onto the mid-set platter.

Consistency is nailed here, and yet it is how context is achieved, which is key to this release. Life and Death has a comfortable range – deep and serious – however how it achieves its sound is surprisingly broad. This results in a label where you can find leading techno lights Lucy and Luke Slater rubbing shoulders with the krautrock infused Margot and the distinctive The Field.

Anthems For No State‘ plays out over four sides of vinyl, each side keeping to a distinct theme. Balearic and kraut-rock is represented on the first. SchwarzmannOctave Two‘ pivots from a minimal first half into a stratospherically twinkling finale, and the never-out-of-form Prins Thomas goes eyes down with the acid-disco ‘Agua‘.

Following this, ByetoneWheels‘ is dramatic electro that melts down in a fashion that sounds as if speaker hum has become malevolently sentient, paired with a very Involver-esque breaks moment in Gera AkatéMukti‘. The core pillars of house and techno are then touched upon, with Red Axes‘ absolutely superb latin-punk ‘Rasss‘ and the heavy kicking and morse code perforated ‘Trattore‘ by Fango.

However the best is saved until last and in absolutely euphoric trance style. Luciano EsseLost‘ closes out the release with an aural sunrise, a perfect coda as it follows the barnstorming peak time of Vivian Koch ‘Find Your Way Out‘, a full throttle work out drenched in emotive strings and a dominant bassline.

‘Anthems For No State’ is out now via Life and Death. Order a copy from Bandcamp.


1. Schwarzmann – Octave Two
2. Prins Thomas – Agua
3. Byetone – Wheels
4. Gera Akaté – Mukti
5. Red Axes – Rasss
6. Fango – Trattore
7. Vivian Koch – Find Your Way Out
8. Luciano Esse – Lost