Endzeit Bunkertracks VI

I’ve been a fan of the Endzeit Bunkertracks compilations ever since I got my hands on the first edition of this excellent EBM, industrial, electro, aggrotech (or whatever the kids call it these days) compilation back in 2005.

The complete Endzeit Bunkertracks compilations, from Act I to VI.

The Endzeit Bunkertracks are by Alfa Matrix — a Belgian record label that specialises in EBM, industrial music and a whole loads of other darker-leaning electronic sounds. And what I like about every Endzeit Bunkertracks compilation CD is the fact that it’s a straightforward yet somewhat daring concept given that we live in an age of instantaneous digital gratification.
With Endzeit Bunkertracks you basically get four compilation CDs of tracks (typically remixed tracks) from various artists, combining established artists with a whole lot of up-and-comers. The compilations CDs are beautifully packaged in cardboard sleeves, which sit in a box that has traditionally come with commissioned artwork. Though the notion of “rare” tracks is close to redundant in a digital age, the majority of published tracks are said to be rare or unreleased at least as far as the physical release is concerned.
I can happily say that to date these compilations were responsible for introducing me to some of my all-time favourite dark, growly, stompy electronic music tunes. And yet, I’d be lying if I said I could readily identify as much as 75 per cent of the artists without referring to the liners notes or looking at my screen.
Despite this, I always eagerly anticipate the imminent release of a new Endzeit Bunkertracks instalment. Last year, this came in the form of Endzeit Bunkertracks Act VI.

Endzeit Bunkertracks VI including Endzeit 6 Sound Card. Sounds
From The Matrix 13
was also included as part of the package (not shown).  

 As has always been the case with the Endzeit compilations, there’s an inevitable proportion of filler (probably one of the reasons why I find it so hard to remember so many of the artists on these compilations). But that aside, the first thing that struck me about this last compilation was its astonishing value for money. In addition to the four CDs it also comes with what I call “standard issue” label compilation; that is, a “regular” compilation from the label, in this case Sounds From The Matrix 13. In addition to this, Endzeit Bunkertracks VI also came with what the “Endzeit 6 Sound Card” — a piece of plastic with a download code for 40 more tracks.
This means the compilation came with no less than — get this — 126 tracks. As one friend pointed out upon discovering this fact: “That’s too much music.” On one hand, a true cynic might suspect that the download-only tracks didn’t pass the cut for the pressed product. On the other, all this value kind of worries me because it shows just how much further an independent record label like Alfa Matrix has to go to just to register on people’s consciousnesses (apparently that’s not a word) .
The fact is, I like physical media, and I feel this is an important part of the Endzeit Bunkertracks package. You could call it artful packaging or trim; for me it comes down to being a pleasing product, much like the polished chrome on a motorcycle or the leather interior on a new car.

Another point. I rate Endzeit Bunkertracks as some of the very best industrial music compilations from a record label. I say that because record label-derived compilations have traditionally been kind of sketchy in my view as their objective is inevitably to push a roster. Those free CDs on magazine covers? They tend to be less hit and miss (depending on the originating magazine) and in many cases can be downright excellent — for the simple reason that they’re not bound to an individual record label.
But in this case, Endzeit Bunkertracks VI has 126 tracks from 108 artists. Not a bad effort for a small independent label.

Do you have a favourite? 

I’m fortunate to own all six Endzeit Bunkertracks compilations to date. I’ve also heard that some of them are difficult to come by, especially Endzeit Bunkertracks IV. Do you own any Endzeit compilations? Are you hunting down a particular edition? Do you have a favourite?

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