Just a few months after releasing the compilation Bustin Out 1982: New Wave To New Beat Volume 2, Future Noise Music’s Year Zero post punk label is back with the third instalment of their look back at the glory days of electro pop.
As with the last volume this compilation, called Bustin’ Out 1983: New Wave To New Beat and once again created by DJ Mike Maguire, features some lost classics, some more well known numbers and some downright cringe worthy moments.
Among the rarities is NewYork act Liquid Liquid with their infectious ‘Optimo’, all driving bass and cow bells, this is the highlight of the compilation. Another obscurity to stand out is the afro-electro pop of ‘ Masimba Bele’ by Germany’s The Unknown Cases. Featuring former Traffic percussionist Reebop Kwaku Baah this is a cross over that really works.
Like the previous volumes there’s a story to be told in the evolution of electronic music. The move from punk to electro-pop is probably the biggest part of this and on this compilation this is represented by New Order, probably the most successful act to make this transition.
The band’s excellent ‘Your Silent Face’ from their second album Power, Corruption, Lies features here. This is a wise choice of track, among their most electronic as the band’s trademark five string bass is replaced by keyboards. While Blue Monday would have been the obvious choice to represent the band during this time, it is welcome that this relatively little known track is given the praise it deserves. Its inclusion makes this compilation far more interesting than other more mainstream compilations looking at this era.
The global movement of electro-pop is also represented, through Belgium’s Front 242, Denmark’s Laid Back and Germany’s Xmal Deutschland. As well as Liquid Liquid, New York’s scene is further represented by Jonzun Crew and Special Request.
It’s not all good. It was after all the early 1980s, an era of ludicrous quiffs and shoulder pads. Among the embarrassing is Neon Judgement’s ‘Fashion Party’ and the casio keyboard basic electronica of John Carpenter’s ‘The End’ and ‘Salsa Smurf’ by Special Request.
There’s also a track that on first listen fits into this category of shame, but over time I’ve grown to love. Anne Clarke’s ‘Sleeper in Metropolis’ sounds like the rant of a student about ‘the system’, but dig deeper and its a harrowing if dated account of urban life.
The album ends perfectly with Cocteau Twin’s ‘Sugar Hiccup’, a track I haven’t heard for years, seemingly about burping while eating Cheerios, although the exact lyrics are open to debate.
by Joe Lepper