Album Review: Raund Haus – “RH – 101”

Featured artwork by Cool Boy 36, courtesy of the artist and Raund Haus.

Long meandering walks have become a regular ritual for me. Many miles I have trod, headphones on, walking to the beat of some tune, sometimes new, sometimes old, but always relevant to mine ears. Today’s walk featured a different palette of “eclectic” than the usual shades of strange that color my daily strides. An advance copy of Raund Haus’ Year 5 compilation had arrived in my inbox shortly before I ventured out into the afternoon sun. So there I was, buttoned up in my usual hat and head-to-toe black, stepping into the light of day in the welcome company of old friends.

Now 5 years alive, the Durham-based collective celebrates its birthday with the release of RH – 101, a compilation of previously unreleased music from artists who have been featured on Raund Haus releases and stages throughout their tenure. Illuminated by artwork created by the co-founder and visual expressionist we know as Cool Boy 36, the 101 release spans a spectrum of sounds akin to a mixtape of early demos. 

From the edge of noise to the sprawling influence of hip hop to the familiar dance-driven pastimes of house and techno, Raund Haus does it all. Filled out by a range of styles, including the pervading eccentricity of co-founder Trandle and the contemplative cadence of fellow co-founder Hubbble, our friends at Raund Haus have put forth a series of tracks which narrate the journey toward their present moment.  And I daresay the dance-inspired vibrations of Footrocket, Treee City, and especially Ronnie Flash had me sliding and gliding down Durham side streets, much to the amusement of my neighbors.

The 101 release feels very much like a walk through time, like a visitation with the accomplishments made thus far. At the 5 year mark, Raund Haus has created a portfolio of releases that span the globe, as well as events and parties which endure in local folklore. I expect their future steps will stride with the same originality as we have thus far seen. Exemplifying the soundscape range of the beatmaking multiverse, Raund Haus is ever pioneering into unfound sounds. Look out for the release of RH – 101 on February 26th.