Fashiøn “Fabrique De Luxe” Ultrabox Hits The Streets [part 6]

Arista | UK | CASS | 1982 | TCART 1185

[…continued from last post]

Back in the early 80s, the Walkman® portable tape player was a very popular way to enjoy music [but not with me…that’s another story for another day]. Arista was working that pre-recorded tape action with some of its artists by including all of an album on side one of a tape with remixes filling out the second side. The Thompson Twins were a high profile example of this with their “Quick Step + Side Kicks” album but labelmates Fashiøn got there first, with “Fabrique.” Some of the remixes on the tape B-side were later issued as 12″ single bonus tracks, but more were unique to the tape. These cassette bonus tracks constitute Face 2 of this box.

fashion fabrique de luxe face 2 cover art
Gonzo Multimedia | UK | CD | 2021 | HST564CD

Fashiøn: Fabrique [Cassette Remixes] Face 2 – UK – CD [2021]

  1. Mutant Dance Move
  2. Smokey Dialogue
  3. Mutant Mix Mechanik
  4. Dressed To Kill [Double Dub]
  5. You Only Left Your Picture [Reggae Reprise]
  6. Alternative Playback [Half Frame]
  7. White Stuff [The Unfinished]
  8. Do You Wanna Make Love [at 5.00 A.M.]

Fans familiar with the cassette version may see different titles used here and here’s the original track listing below as printed on the 1982 cassette. Don’t worry. I’ll explain everything as we go along.

B1Mutant Move5:51
B2Love Shadow Smokey Dialogue4:59
B3Street Mechanik7:21
B4Dressed To Kill Double Dub2:54
B5You Only Left Your Picture (Reggae Reprise)1:11
B6Something In Your Picture (Alternative Playback)3:08
B7White Stuff (The Unfinished)8:44
B8Do You Wanna Make Love (At 5.00 A.M.)?6:48
fashion move on cover art

“Mutant Dance Move” was the B-side to the “Move On” 12″ single. It was the same as the “Mutant Move” on the tape. This was a muscular dub mix that had a gradually ascending series of circular chords, punctuated by Simmons fills and reversed white noise percussion in the place of hi-hats. Through it all, vocalist Harris repeated the “move on, move on, move, on, move on…” lyric mantra until after three minutes, the synth singularity appeared and then the relentlessly chugging bass riff took the song into high gear.

Harris’ vocal on the first verse was heavily dosed with slapback echo that made it syncopate with basically everything else in the song! Then the bass solo was pushed into the spotlight as huge, clanging synth and drum elements were dropped into a huge dub space against the flat, dry drum track for several bars, before circling back to the circular energy that was the song’s raison d’être. The vocoded scatting in the outro coda was yet more badass posturing that was totally at home on this album. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“Smokey Dialogue” was the same as “Love Shadow [Smokey Dialogue]” as it was known on the tape as well as the “Height Of Fashiøn” CD, which featured “Fabrique” and 5/8 bonus cassette tracks. This was a dub mix of what was basically the second movement of the “Love Shadow” 12″ single version; which [confusingly] was also called “Love Shadow [Smokey Dialogue].” This track gave focus to the bass clarinet of Pete Willman and the taut, funky guitar of Dave Harris. It was a different stage upon which to spotlight the call and response vocals of Dave Harris duetting with Gina Kikoine [or Gina X, as she was billed].

Their give and take was based on the middle eight of the album version but was far more elaborate in painting a picture of the schism that had occurred. At the track’s halfway point, the vocals were gone for a deep dive into the dub pool with Syndrums drums coasting for days on subharmonic bass overload while clattering, metallic percussion and undulating waves of synth white noise jumped back and forth in the stereo spectrum. High frequency synth trills and drum machine loops eventually broke the track down into its chaotic and thrilling climax. The smoothest track on the album had been ripped apart and crudely stitched back together into a kind of Frankenfunk’s Monster for our pleasure and excitement.

Next: …Error In the system

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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