Just about every time I hear someone talk about "no compression" they are actually compressing stuff some other way and their stuff sounds either plenty compressed or not good.
I don't know what you'd call this, but I'm a realist in that all I care about is what comes out of the speakers. If you got there in a way that makes you happy, and it sounds good, then the approach is solid. So I won't judge someone that doesn't compress, I say more power to them. But let's also have a real conversation, because I've also heard the following from the "I don't compress" crowd:
- I don't compress drums, but I'm using an 808 machine (really? tell me more about your machine-generated squashed sound that doesn't need compressing)
- I don't compress tracks, but I run them hot through my preferred analog gear for that "leveling" effect (so, you don't compress with a "compressor" because you already compressed the dynamics elsewhere?)
The bottom line is that few acoustic recordings sound good without compression/leveling. People are either compressing with a compressor, or compressing/leveling with something else that they refuse to call compression, or they are using something that is not acoustic (some instrument affecting air recorded by a mic), or the mix is not that good.
But I've never seen a case of this: I don't compress, I don't level, all tracks are real instruments, just a bit of automation = Award-winning mix.