Where It’s At Is Where You Are are really tapped into the zeitgeist this year. Beginning 2012 with their 7777777 Singles Club – 28 band members recording 21 exclusive tracks on 14 grooves by seven bands, on seven colours of vinyl, released on the 7th day of seven months in limited editions of 777 – WIAIWYA are now releasing a compilation to coincide with that Big Sporting Event that’s coming up later this summer. It’s The Taking Part That Counts is a 26 song multicultural celebration of 26 different sports, featuring exclusive tracks from Saint Etienne, Darren Hayman, Hong Kong In The 60s, White Town, and many more. The Butterflies Of Love even make an appearance on High Barnet’s track!
Kicking off the proceedings, and an obvious highlight, is Saint Etienne’s Steeplechase. 60s-esque in a different way than usual for them, this cinematic and slinky instrumental is gorgeous. Bass and keyboard line propel things forward, in turns and then together, before a completely incongruous distorted guitar enters, taking the song into an entirely more intense and vivid realm, giving a sense of soaring over depths. If you’re a fan of St Et obscurities, this is one you should definitely have. Steeplechase bookends Disc 1 with another stand-out track, Hong Kong In The 60s’ Let’s Play Table Tennis. Beginning with a lovely staccato major key melody, it slips into a charming lushness before the vocal comes in, cute and lazy, giving a sense of daydreamingly watching an indoor match on a sunny afternoon. Steffi, The Sunny Street’s contribution, is also full of pleasing electronic volleys, with a beat to bounce along to. Paddle-less, Sool provide a nice catchy indiepop racket with Handball! Darren Hayman’s Bundle is a cool garage rock groove with freeform middle 8, great harmony guitars kicking the end up a notch. One Fathom Down deliver rockabilly with a dark controlled frenzy in Exodus, the song for Shooting. The Buoys Are Back In Town, Flotation Toy Warning’s cleverly named tribute to Canoeing and Kayaking, is beautiful, evoking a sense of racing through water, albeit in very slow motion. Synthesized Swimming by Parenthesis… gives us that aquatic rush at speed. Glorious synthpop, moving through a wide spectrum of emotion, triumphant throughout, and this even before you get to the end of the intro. A great song. Alexander’s Festival Hall’s Judo (What We’ve Been Playing) is the shimmering upbeat electronic pop, reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys, we hope to get from Alexander M, this song featuring Yazuyo Uemura. And White Town’s Theme For Olympic Weightlifting builds a momentous melodic cadence out of huge warm synths.