Various Artists: Dune Drift 2

Arts space and music venue Topaz has a reputation for showcasing some of the finest local and touring acts, and the release of this sequel to the first Dune Drift compilation finds Joel and Krysta Leshefka further advancing their record label.

Many of Tucson’s greatest artists appear on this 13-song offering, picked and sequenced to showcase an unusually effective and well-rounded group, a difficult achievement for any various-artists record, let alone a local compilation.

Rock ’n’ roll’s present and future, are well represented here: the shimmering electronics of Altrice and Sutcliffe Catering Co.; avant punk from Prom Body, Algae & Tentacles and Womb Tomb; fresh takes on rock’s roots by Katterwaul and Otherly Love; tracks from the now defunct Dream Sick and Laser Dad; no- brainers from the Resonars and Lenguas Largas.

There are no songs on Dune Drift 2 that are less than stellar, and for all its diversity, the level of cohesion ensures that the record’s only flaw is that it’s too short.

Most of these songs are previously unreleased, though some will appear on the individual acts’ upcoming albums. But the true pleasure lies in hearing Man Bites Dog reinvent hardcore, the recorded debut of AZ77’s uncategorizable spookiness, and so on. And any record that has a new Lenguas Largas song (“No Wrong No Right”) gets extra points.

Dune Drift 2 does the job of a compilation in spades: It’s a concise sampler in which every artist featured is worth getting to know individually. When does Dune Drift 3 come out?

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