Trevor Jackson Presents Metal Dance – Industrial Post Punk EBM Classics & Rarities ‘80-’88

January 01, 1970

(Strut)

 

www.strutrecords.com

 

Another
brilliantly archived compilation from Strut Records, Metal Dance: Industrial
Post Punk EBM Classic & Rarities ‘80-88
is a motherlode of extremely
hard to find, marginal rarities and a few left-field club classics long past
their heyday on global dance floors. Coming right after the Factory Records
comp Fac: Dance, and not far removed from terrific collections of
classic material from ZE Records, producer/remixer Walter Gibbons, legendary
Brit DJ Norman Jay, New York producer Bob Blank and collections of vintage
material from Fania Records, Afrobeat master Ebo Taylor and Ethio Jazz pioneer
Mulatu Astatke, Strut is a current standard bearer for high-yield archival
compilations. 

 

Compiled
by UK
DJ/producer Trevor Jackson (Output Recordings, Playgroup), Metal Dance features exactly what it says in the title, a combination classics and
rarities. Resolutely non-commercial, Metal Dance throws some light on an
insular collection of overlapping subcultures of the 1980s, where industrial
music, sound collage, dub, Krautrock influenced electronic music,  jittery
post punk dance grooves and the birth of club culture all collided in a
distinctly unholy critical mass. Ice cold electronic beats and dub-influenced
production techniques were the foundation; all the acts’ other signature
sounds, sonic assaults and all-important image were layered on top.

 

This
was an interesting transitional period, when experimental, often abrasive and
intensely dark industrial music moved towards a new hybrid of dance music,
thereby saving itself from the annihilation that’s the almost-inevitable end of
a nihilistic stance, musical or otherwise. Krautrock and club culture sort of
saved the day for lots of folks that otherwise might have found themselves at a
dead end, altho the uncompromising music and strident stance of this sprawling,
loose-knit crowd of synth beat provocateurs would definitely make some of the
raver crowd uncomfortable. No happy hippy house music here. 

 

With
twenty-eight tracks spread over two discs, Metal Dance is a lot to get
your head around, but taken either in small pieces or in a single dose it’s an
incredibly immersive experience. Some of the bigger names in the scene are well
represented, such as vintage Cabaret Voltaire (“Seconds To Late”), Alien Sex
Fiend (“Under The Thunder”), Yello’s “You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess,”
Pete Shelley with a Martin Rushent produced dub version of “Witness The Change”
and the fabulous minimal dance hit “Control I’m Here” by Nitzer Ebb. Disc one
weighs in with the robotic, fashion runway disco of “Dream Games” by Shock, the
crazy, post punk bummer disko of “The Bus” by Executive Slacks, the dark dance
title track by SPK and a number by Fini Tribe, as well as an early, proto-house
hit “Brothers” by DAF. Also: Jah Wobble’s world dub classic “Invaders of the
Heart,” dubby industrial pop from The Bubblemen and 400 Blows and other tracks
from Neon, Analysis, Stanton Miranda and the the club dub of “Divided” by
Portion Control. 

 

Disc
two ups the intensity ante with the hardcore Martin Rushent produced “Je Suis
Passee” by Hard Corps, the club dub dance floor filler “Do What You Wanna Do”
by The Cage w/Nona Hendryx, dubby post-punk funk by Schlaflose Nachte (“Move”),
and the orgasmic “Golpe De Amistad” by Diseno Corbusier.  Especially
lively is the rolling madhouse German funk of “Amok!” by Ledernacken. Even
better is Italio DJ Mario Boncaldo’s reedit of John Carpenter and Alan
Howarth’s 12 inch version of the soundtrack classic “The Duke Arrives” (from Escape
From New York)
, a genuinely tense and nerve wracking slice of minimalist
synth funk that gets in your head and just won’t leave. Other tracks by Naked
Lunch, Secession, Severed Heads and Nash The Slash all do their thing(s). The
set ends with the funky, shape-shifting “Coup” by 23 Skidoo.

 

Jackson clearly has a taste for
dub and alternative versions of tracks, and Metal Dance is loaded with
B-Sides, remixes and dub versions of numerous numbers. This gives the whole set
an even more experimental, less commercial slant than it would with the
original tracks, and also ups the rarities factor.  It comes with an
appropriately stripped down, black & white booklet that details all the
tracks and artists featured.

 

Quibbles:
Where the heck is The Fall? And no Psychic TV? Are they to acid house? But
that’s it. Otherwise, this is the merde, and essential for anyone interested in
the history of alternative dance and 80s electronic and industrial
musics. 

 

DOWNLOAD: “Amok!,” “The Duke
Arrives,” “Control I’m Here,” “The Bus,” “Golpe De Amistad,” “Do What You Wanna
Do” CARL HANNI

Leave a Reply