‘Liquid Ritual: Volume 3’ Is Here

Often snubbed for their lack of economic results, compilations remain the cultural medium par excellence. While albums are the best way for artists to build and give voice to their identity, compilations are the counterpart for genres, scenes, and movements. The wave scene has been no exception. Since the publication of wavemob and Terrorrhytm’s compilations, which literally acted as the Big Bang, compilations from accidental_poet, vibe.digital, Liquid Ritual, IMMINENT, CZELUŚĆ Interval Audio (and many more) have indelibly marked the history of the genre.

Each time a compilation is released, therefore, it’s a proper event, a moment to look forward to with curiosity, trepidation, and celebration. I might have been quiet about it, but this is exactly what I was feeling during the rollout of the long-awaited Liquid Ritual vol. 3 album. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one watching the label’s moves closely. After all, as one of the undisputed leaders of the scene, the Liquid Ritual team has both the honor of being in a position to lead the way into the future and, at the same time, the responsibility of keeping alive the roots on which it has built its legacy. For those familiar with their releases in the past ten months, the artistic direction of the Liquid Ritual brand was crystal clear (the melodic and darker side of wave), but with the recent launch of the ambitious Wave Global project, it wasn’t easy to make predictions.

After dozens of listens, I can say it without a shadow of doubt:  Vol. 3 is Liquid Ritual’s crown jewel.  This compilation is a testament to the label’s cultural commitment to showcasing the evolution of the genre and a tangent proof of the talent that crowds the scene at the moment. The sixteen artists involved, a clever mix of familiar and brand-new names, all delivered premium performances, without exception. Sixteen songs that span a diverse range of styles, from highly atmospheric cuts (‘let me go’, ‘NEVA’, ‘Mirage’) to more alternative works (‘Subterranea’, ‘U Hurt Me’) to garage-influenced tracks (‘The Morning After’, ‘Freefall’, ‘Where Are You Now’), bringing the listener on an immersive yet kaleidoscopic journey through the wave sound. The vocal pieces are exquisitely crafted as they all double down in the classic melancholic, ethereal, trancey mood that defines the genre.

The greatest merit of Liquid Ritual Vol. 3 is, in my opinion, that it’s a compilation that sounds extremely contemporary, yet it reflects well the essence and heritage of wave. It’s a must-listen for the most hardcore fans, but I can see it acting also as the perfect starting point for new adepts. Compared to many other compilations released in previous years, which embodied a specific historical moment or trend, Vol. 3 has the potential to evade temporal boundaries and stand as a timeless chapter in the history of the label and the wave movement. Props to Jude, Oskar, and the entire Liquid Ritual team for another first-class project and for showing once again where the “Home of Wave” is.

Listen to Liquid Ritual Vol.3 below or on your favorite platform.