Sockets Records’ free “Summer 2011 Mix” features six modern bands. But the local label’s comp takes me back to the early ’90s, when I would make weekly record-store visits to hunt down imported experimental-dream-pop singles I’d read about in New Musical Express.

The bands I obsessed over are mostly lost to the dustbin of record-nerd history — Belfast’s Butterfly Child, London’s Bark Psychosis and A.R. Kane — but I feel their forward-looking spirit in some of the jams on this comp. The mix starts and ends with beautifully twitchy electronic works from D.C. acts Macaw and Bluebrain, but three of the four middle tracks are what put me in the way-back machine.

“More Than One Thing” by the Skeletons; Deleted Scenes‘ “Bedbedbedbedbed”; and Hume’s “Inverse Fireworks” are pop-based, but their rhythms are influenced by the fractious possibilities of electronic music. Some might call the style Radiohead-esque, but these songs recall a time before all experimental pop was considered Yorke-ish territory.

» Download Now: Get the “Summer 2011 Mix” free at

Photo courtesy of Sockets Records