The present age of frightening jingoism and music turned pure commodity often obscures the fact that, at one time, music was unapologetically political. But it was also about dancing 'tildawn to forget the gray, banal world outside. This is where Soul Jazz's exemplary new compilation is situated. In the post-punk era England was alive to demanding grooves emerging from Bristol (Mark Stewart and his unforgiving agit-pop), Manchester (A Certain Ratio, part of the Factory installation), and Sheffield (where Cabaret Voltaire, Richard H. Kirk & Stephen Mallinder were hammering out electronic music years ahead of its time). This collection is timely not because it wallows in nostalgia but precisely because it resurrects the ferocious spirit of making music and dancing as rebellious, anti-establishment acts. How could one stand still to the elastic-band bass-line of 23 Skidoos 'Coup' or the electro monster 'Being Boiled' by Human League, an uncanny, early critique of fake Western Buddhisms? 'Sluggin Fer Jesus' by Cabaret Voltaire is an unforgettable attack on the Christian right with a bassline so dense it resembles a dying star. The cat-scratch guitar at the surface of The Slits 'In The Beginning' is a perfect counterpoint to Poly Styrene's bass swoops. This Heat's stinging, metallic '24 Track Loop' sounds like it was released last week, with phased chords and dissonant sax shrieks.The Pop Group's excoriating 'She is Beyond Good and Evil' opens with a dark dub howl before exploding into a tight funk groove that never loses its pace. This collection is an unqualified masterpiece.