Over the past decade Loop has forged a strong reputation for releasing the best in New Zealand electronica and roots music, with many of their artists becoming household names, or as close to it as you can get here. Their latest release, Winter, provides a good introduction to some of the more recent releases and signings for those unfamiliar with the label, as well as showcasing some unreleased works if you're already a follower.
While many of the tracks have been heard elsewhere (7 out of 11 have been previously released), it's good to have such a great selection on one album, and the unreleased tracks from Pitch Black, Glass Vaults, Rhian Sheehan and Stray Theories provide bonus content for anyone unsure if they should pick this up.
While the compilation may be called Winter there's nothing cold about these tracks; they're a mellow, laid back collection of soul warming tunes, perfect for those stormy nights when you just want to sit around the fire ignoring the weather.
Listening to Winter you'll quickly pinpoint Loop's core sound; downbeat instrumental electronica is the main flavour here, and that's the only shortcoming on the album. With many of the artists making similar sounding music it can be hard to distinguish between artists, and sometimes even tracks.
The quality of the music makes up for it though, further cementing Loop's reputation as purveyors of fine electronic music. If you're a fan of any of their artists already then the Winter compilation is well worth picking up, as you're likely to discover some new favourite artists. And if you're not a fan yet, then it's a good place to start.