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From the Other Music newsletter

From another great period in music: V.A. In the Beginning There Was Rhythm (Soul Jazz)CD/LP $18.99/$18.99 [Shack Up sample] [Being Boiled sample]

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.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 7th, 2002 08:02 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, post-punk! I like. If you buy this let me know what you think of it.
(There's another comp, perhaps on Rhino, called Totally Wired that's sort of similar, though perhaps not so noisy.)
Feb. 10th, 2002 07:45 pm (UTC)
I certainly will pick it up. Although I've got all the Pop Group, some Slits, and early Cab Volt on CD, there is a surprising amount of stuff from that era that hasn't been reissued until recently (like This Heat).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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