94.5 The Edge

Various Artists
Shanti Project Collection
Badman Recording Co.

The Shanti Project Collection was put together by Badman Recording Co. to raise funds for the Shanti Project of San Francisco, which works to promote the quality of life of those living with HIV or AIDS. Red House Painters, Low, Idaho, Hayden, and Misc all contribute exclusive tracks to this beautiful thirteen track compilation and the sleeve booklet was designed by Paul McMenamin and Gina Woo. Interestingly, McMenamin's work has graced the cover of many a 4AD record and the sound of the Shanti Project Collection is decidedly that of 4AD's mindset - mellow, lulling, intensely personal, and atmospheric.

Though the Red House Painters were supposed to have released a new album by now tentatively titled Old Ramon, it still has not seen the light of day so the four tracks they contribute here are a must for any fan. Lead singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek and the rest of the Painters do an entrancing, stipped-down version of Genesis' "Follow You, Follow Me", a hazy acoustic cover of Neil Young's "Midnight On The Bay", as well as lay down a demo version of "Smokey" (a song that will appear on the imminent Old Ramon), and another new song "Find Me, Ruben Clivares", indeed everyone here seems to have a penchant for the Neil Youngs, Graham Parsons, and Nick Drake's of the world. Minnesota born and raised Low have never sounded so vibrant on any of their four discs and fellow self-proclaimed agents of the slow-core movement Idaho brighten a few sad-eyed corners with their poignant "The Sun Is All There Is". Misc, arguably the least known group, is actually Badman Recording Co. headman himself, Dylan Magierek, who distinguishes himself with ? of tracks.