Record Review: Trevor Jackson Presents Metal Dance – Industrial/Post Punk/EBM Classics + Rarities/80-88

Strut Records | GER | 2xCD | 2012 | STRUT091CD

Strut Records | GER | 2xCD | 2012 | STRUT091CD

Various: Trevor Jackson Presents Metal Dance – Industrial/Post Punk/EBM Classics + Rarities/80-88 GER 2xCD [2012]

Disc 1

  1. Bubblemen, The – The Bubblemen Are Coming
  2. 400 Blows – Pressure (Club Pressure)
  3. Cabaret Voltaire – Seconds Too Late
  4. Neon – Voices
  5. Pete Shelley – Witness The Change (Dub Version)
  6. Nitzer Ebb – Control I’m Here (Clouston’s Controlled Edit)
  7. DAF – Brothers (Mix Gabi)
  8. Portion Control – The Great Divide
  9. Stanton Miranda – Wheels Over Indian Trails
  10. Jah Wobble – Invaders Of The Heart (Exotic Decadent Disco Mix)
  11. SPK – Metal Dance
  12. Fini Tribe – De Testimony (Collapsing Edit)

Disc 2

  1. Alien Sex Fiend – Under The Thunder (Ignore The Dub)
  2. Einstürzende Neubauten – Yü-Gung (Adrian Sherwood Mix)
  3. Mark Stewart – Fatal Attraction (Contagious)
  4. Hard Corps – Je Suis Passé (Dub)
  5. Naked Lunch – Slipping Again
  6. Secession – Touch (Part 4)
  7. The Cage – The Featuring Nona Hendryx – Do What You Wanna Do (Dub Version)
  8. Yello – You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess (UK Promo Mix)
  9. John Carpenter & Alan Howarth – The Duke Arrives : The Barricade / The President At The Train (Extended Version)
  10. Ledernacken – Amok!
  11. Severed Heads – Dead Eyes Opened
  12. Honey Bane – Guilty (Dub)
  13. Diseño Corbusier – Golpe De Amistad

This album is why I was so enthusiastic about the last post. I happened upon this release by accident last August while perusing the bins at Harvest Records. Since I was trolling for Bureau B promos, I had begun rifling through the bricks of CDs in thin promo sleeves. usually I bypass those and head straight for the jewel boxes, but the Bureau B bounty of 2012 convinced me otherwise. Good thing, too, since I came across this completely unknown entity just by keeping my eyes opened.

A quick scan of the insert revealed that it contained the UK promo mix of Yello’s “You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess.” Sold, American! The contents of this disc veered from the well-loved and collected [Cab Volt, Yello, Nitzer Ebb, Pete Shelley, Jah Wobble], to the familiar names if not songs [Fini Tribe, SPK, Hard Corps, Secession], all the way to the obscure and unknown [Executive Slacks, Portion Control, Mark Stewart]. When I played it for the first time I was struck by the brilliance of Jackson’s curation. This was a dazzling melange of drum machines and crude synths that were proud to be cheap and synthetic.

The Bubblemen single was well known and almost too easy a way to begin the flow. Things quickly got more left field with 400 Blows and their dubbed out minimal synth funk. The appearance of the early Cab Volt single “Seconds Too Late” made for a bolder statement of intent moving forward. It was strange hearing the dub mix of Pete Shelley’s brilliant B-side “Witness The Change” shorn of its companion in dub “I Don’t Know What It Is.” At first I thought this might be a new mix that was offered up but with phones on it seems like the cut was crudely edited from the more familiar dub mashup [I hope] we’re all familiar with.

Executive Slacks were an unknown quantity but tracks like their’s are like grains of gold dropped into the mix that dazzle comparatively against the more familiar but no less-loved music one might already be familiar with. Speaking of which, the Clouston’s Controlled Edit of Nitzer Ebb’s “Control I’m Here” has got to be a new mix of this track since I have all of the other ones that were of a contemporaneous vintage. Dare I say this is the finest mix of that classic Ebb tune. Following it with DAF is as obvious as sequencing can get, but at least Jackson picked from the post-Virgin era of the band where they were no longer creating a template for NE to emulate.

The Stanton Miranda single was news to me! I love Thick Pigeon but had totally missed Miranda’s sole solo single, as released in 1986. It sounds more like New Order than Thick Pigeon in any case. No wonder Factory Benelux released it. I used to have a SPK album about 20+ years ago [“Oceania”] but I didn’t think enough of it to keep it. The eponymous track that lent its name to this compilation is more upbeat and less somber than that live album was. This was the sort of clatter I was expecting from buying a SPK album back then, actually.

Alien Sex Fiend is another band I used to have in the Record Cell, but the dub mix of “Ignore The Thunder” that kicks off disc two is certainly a lot of fun. Maybe trading off “Acid Bath” was a mistake? The mood reaches a frenzied peak on the next two cuts; Einstürzende Neubauten’s “Yü-Gung [Adrian Sherwood Mix]” builds to an apogee of unyielding and dry, plastic, tribal beats. Not unlike Yello on speed, albeit without their dry wit. Then Jackson strikes while the listener is weakened with his killing blow; Mark Stewart’s “Fatal Attraction [Contagious].” This was not a track I’d ever heard back in the day, but the infernal mashup of Moroder’s “I Feel Love” sequencer track coupled with a punishing array of beatbox volleys courtesy of Keith LeBlanc with Stewart sounding like F242’s Jean-Luc DeMeyer amid the loops of degenerate laughter attains a kind of delirium that threatens to spontaneously combust into flames. How did I never hear this back in 1987??! It should have been as mandatory in every hip dance club as F242’s “Headhunter” was.

Other highlights from the second disc include the cut I ostensibly bought this for. The Yello remix of “You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess” is in my Record Cell, but it’s been years since I bought the 12″ and have yet to play it. A common tale! The Cage Featuring Nona Hendryx released a single 12″ and it’s basically “Beat Boy” era Visage with a very different lead vocalist! It’s a smoking cut in the dub mix here that makes me want to track down the original 12.” If only to hear the B-side, “The Slammer!” If that’s not a statement of intent, what is?

About three quarters through, admittedly, this project begins to lose focus and blend  together as the reliance on hard programmed beats that unites all of this disparate music comes to eventually dominate the proceedings. But the effect of listening to this is still a feat that re-captures the feeling of being in a hip underground dance club ca. 1988 with a playlist of reliable floor fillers expertly mixed with an equal amount of deep cuts and obscurities. The retroactive thrills of discovery that this mix engendered has all but pre-sold me on the new volume. Next time I won’t be buying this for anything I know, but instead will anticipate the thrill of the unknown, which is this album’s raison d’être. Even for a crusty old Monk like myself.

 – 30 –

About postpunkmonk

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6 Responses to Record Review: Trevor Jackson Presents Metal Dance – Industrial/Post Punk/EBM Classics + Rarities/80-88

  1. JT says:

    Hi –
    That Stanton Miranda song sounds like New Order because it is. She’s backed up by “The other two” – Mr. and Mrs. Steve Morris – on that record.

    Naked Lunch were also on the classic Some Bizarre Album, on which Soft Cell, Blancmange, Depeche Mode, and The The *all* made their vinyl debut! Their guitarist is a vegan bluesman now, who played on my Left Orbit Temple record from year 2000.

    I had a Portion Control LP for many years… I’ll have to look and see if I still do! Sounds like Micro-phonies-era Cab Volt.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      JT – Thanks for being set straight on the Stanton Miranda. Speaking of the classic “Some Bizarre Album,” can you believe that I never ever had any of the many versions of that one? I guess it would have helped if I had ever seen a copy of it! Well, I’m up for anything that sounds like “Micro-Phonies” era Cab Volt, as you may be aware. The track here is a 12″ B-side.

      Like

  2. Echorich says:

    Mark Stewart is a personal indulgence for me. I think Adrian Sherwood is a way leftfield genius but Mark Stewart is where all that On-U Sound world makes sense. Fatal Attraction leave me exhausted and elated whenever I hear it!

    Like

  3. I’m reasonably sure there has been a copy of “Some Bizarre” every time I’ve ever been to Wax n Facts in Atlanta … so it’s probably still there WAITING FOR YOU.

    Like

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