Record Review: Propaganda – Noise + Girls Come Out To Play/A Compact Introduction To Propaganda

Salvo/ZTT | UK | CD | 2012 | SALVOCD059

Propaganda: Noise + Girls Come Out To Play / A Compact Introduction To Propaganda

  1. Before You Start You Already Bleed [Testament Four]
  2. Dr. Mabuse [Anton Corbijn Video Mix]
  3. Femme Fatale [The Woman With The Orchid]
  4. Duel [Thirds]
  5. Testament Five
  6. Jewel [Rough Cut]
  7. P:Machinery [Beta – ‘ZTT Sampled’ version]
  8. P:Machinery [Alpha]
  9. Dream Within A Dream
  10. Wonder
  11. Lied
  12. Frozen Faces [A Secret Sense Of Sin]
  13. Testament Six
  14. Im Stahlnetz Des Mabuse
  15. Das Testament Des Mabuse
  16. [The Ninth Life Of] Dr. Mabuse
  17. Strength To Dream [As Testament Seven]
  18. P:Machinery [Zbigniew Rybczynski Video Mix]
  19. Femme Fatale [The Orchid]

I had written about this release in advance of this hitting the streets and now I have a copy in hand to discuss its many unique qualities. Time is short, so let’s begin! On the face of it,  compiling a Propaganda compilation from the period of their sole ZTT album is ludicrous, but the devil is in the details. Nine of the 19 cuts are [technically] previously unreleased. The album contains a staggering five mixes of their magnum opus “Dr. Mabuse” and four of them have the temerity to sit together in sequence! Modern man stands aghast at the audacity of it all.

The video mix of “Mabuse” is almost a minute longer than the 7″ mix. Listen for extended coin noises on the intro and animal sounds on the outro. “Duel [Thirds]” is something that was technically released, albeit only on UK promo 7″ [ztas 8 dj]. The mix is more brief than the LP version with the “Liberace on speed” middle eight trimmed significantly. There are mix differences as well. At 1:38 the line “it’s too late – this decision is made by fate” is echoed fully. The LP mix sounds like “it’s too late – this decision is made by fate […fate]” and this mix has a full repeat of the last half of the line to wit: “it’s too late – this decision is made by fate […made by fate].”

I am finally breathing easier now that the mix of “P:machinery [ßeta]” that only appeared previously on the “ZTT Sampled” compilation [ZTT IQ 6] has finally crossed the digital divide! One of the most tantalizing things here is the track that immediately follows it. “P:machinery [Alpha]” is an excerpt from the evolving demo of the familiar track recorded in August of 1984. It has the familiar “horn riff from hell” without any brass on it and a more electronic, less orchestral demeanor. The arrangement resembles what the band performed live as on the “Value Of Entertainment” laserdisc in the Record Cell. I would not be shocked if one day the fullest instance of this track would waltz out of the ZTT vaults on another compilation.

The version here of “Frozen Faces [A Secret Sense Of Sin]” is a completely different take of the familiar track. First of all, it’s touched with the snarling guitar of John McGeoch, but it also features a different instrumental bed [with whispering throughout] and completely different vocals from Suzanne Freytag and Claudia Brücken. It dates from July 1985 according to the notes. The presence of McGeoch’s guitar almost make me think that it was mixed at the time of the creation of the “[Echo Of] Frozen Faces”] remix on [12 ZTAS 21] but there is none of Simon Lloyd’s sax here. Curious.

The other most significant cuts here are “Im Stahlnetz Des Mabuse” [“In the steel net of Mabuse”], which is a short, instrumental dub mix heavy on the industrial metallic sample that figures in the percussive movement 2 of the “Das Testaments Des Mabuse” 12″ mix also included here. Finally the “Femme Fatale [The Orchid]” is an instrumental remix of the familiar B-side; marking it as the first variation on that track yet in the Propaganda canon.

The presumption to thread together four versions of “Dr. Mabuse” manages to only whet my appetite for that inevitable compilation of just mixes of “Dr Mabuse” that one day I must make! By now I may have more than can fit on a single CD! It goes without saying that this was a welcome and mandatory addition to one of my favorite bands in my core collection. I’m amazed that they can still manage to spin straw into gold over at the ZTT archives. One day, they will inevitably come up empty handed, but that day has yet to arrive for this acolyte.

– 30 –

 

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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5 Responses to Record Review: Propaganda – Noise + Girls Come Out To Play/A Compact Introduction To Propaganda

  1. VersionCrazy says:

    Great post, Herr Monk!

    Like

  2. Echorich says:

    Not presumption at all…Dr.Mabuse is force all on it’s own…I deserves nay, NEEDS to be a release on its own! I will always be mesmerized by Duel/Jewel in all its beautifully aggressive guises. The Chase – Lied is another stunning moment on this compilation! Part Blue Monday, part Teutonic pop and wrapped in shiny Trevor Horn aural mylar (tipping my hat to the master of pretension Mr. Morley), it could last for 10 minutes and I would want more.

    Like

  3. jsd says:

    On first listen I wasn’t that thrilled by any of it. Yeah, it may be technically different mixes to what we’ve been inundated with in the previous years of reissues, but nothing was a revelation, as it seems to have been for you. I’ll have to give this another spin.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      jsd – When it comes to Propaganda, I’ve got it bad. Your mileage may vary. ZTT has my number, but good! They can probably spin out more barrel scraping comps for the duration of my life and I’ll queue up to buy. Sad, isn’t it?

      Like

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