Acid Horse: No Name, No Slogan US CD5 
- No Name, No Slogan [Hypo Luxa + Hermes Pan]
- No Name, No Slogan [Cabaret Voltaire]
1989 was the bitter end of a bad decade, getting ready to crash and burn into a newer, even worse decade. I had been a fan of Cabaret Voltaire, to put it mildly, ever since 1980 but they hit the brick wall the next year, but hard, with their full-blown descent into house music, the divisive “Groovy, Laidback + Nasty.” Little did I know that this was to be their last hurrah as they balanced upon a precipice that would see them totter over into dalliances with house music and techno for the rest of their [missable] career.
Word has it that the single resulted when Cab Volt were sniffing around Chicago in 1989, probably tracking down Marshall Jefferson to mastermind their next album. Fortunately, they bumped heads with Al Jourgenson who was savvy enough to propose a mashup of Ministry and Cab Volt, just to prove it could be done. Good thing too, since the Sheffield twosome would be aiming their yacht for waters that I wanted little to do with for the rest of their career.
The song on this single is in two mixes; the first a shorter “Ministry” mix and the second a longer “Cabaret Voltaire” mix. Surprisingly, I prefer the Ministry mix, but that just might be since the CV mix telegraphs where their interests were about to lie for the next year or so. Track one as produced by Jourgenson and Paul Barker is a cracking industrial/glam stomper that keeps its energy level up for its entire six minutes. The vocals by Chris Connelly sound much more like those of Richard 23 of F242. Bill Rieflin’s martial drums pummel savagely but the lyrical guitar twang left in the mix gives it a humor and humanity that gives it infinitely more appeal than Ministry did for me at this point in time. I had bought the first Ministry album, and then, their second, before losing interest in their descent into ogre music. This track is far from the abrasive screed that was “Stigmata;” the point where they lost me.
Not surprisingly, the CV mix of track two actually has touches of the acid house that the group’s name was playing off of. The rhythms on that version were impoverished drum machine claves juiced with sampled horn section stingers amid the spaghetti western samples sprinkled throughout. Connelly’s vocals were vocoded for greater alienation. At over nine minutes, this version of the song would be far better at half its length. In fact, at 4:30 there is a breakdown that suggests just that, but the mix staggers back to life for more overkill. When the guitars of version 1 make a belated appearance at 8:30 it only serves to make the cut sound more impoverished in comparison.
By the mid 90s, I even traded in the Wax Trax! “Twelve Inch Singles” compilation by Ministry; only the second [and final] of their albums I’d ever bothered buying. I’d also ditched at the same time, my disc of “Plasticity,” the first CV album where I could hear no evidence of Steven Mallinder what so ever. So given that I fell out with Ministry pretty early, and eventually with Cab Volt, whom I consider titans, that lends this single a poignance that marks the end of an era. I wouldn’t bother with any more non-archival Cab Volt, save for some ex-post-facto techno remix projects that didn’t stay in the Record Cell very long! And the sole Ministry single I bought after this [but still have and enjoy!] was their hilarious collaboration with Gibby Haynes, “Jesus Built My Hotrod.” Now, Chris Connelly was a different proposition all together. I have the excellent “Whiplash Boychild” and probably have room for more of his music in my collection.
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