Various Artists- 'Bustin' Out. New Wave to New Beat: The Post Punk Era 1979-1981'

posted 24 Mar 2010, 01:55 by Joe Richardson
[Year Zero]
Release Date: 15th February 2010

by Adam Keay
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A mate of mine was telling me the other day, how a mate of his was in a band that once supported Joy Division and yes, actually met Ian Curtis, shook his hand and had a chat. This wasn't particularly fascinating because these people were/are just blokes and the female equivalent of blokes, who were playing loads of gigs with loads of other bands, some with genuine connections to the scene, some remembered, some not.

The compilation 'Bustin' Out' rakes up quite a few of the fringe members of the post-punk era providing obscurity fun for the most part. Ping-pongin between no-wave, industrial, electro and post disco, 'Bustin' Out' gives itself the hard task of trying to feature the length and breadth of the 79-81 era, USA-UK, without playing into the hands of obvious choices.

Gary Numan's Tubeway Army track 'Replicas' is a glacial sheet of nonchalant alienation cutting down the components of pop to a confidently cinematic dragging pace. This was the beginnings of the 'machine phase' music for Numan, showing what a Station to Station Bowie alien might be listening to down the club.

Josef K's classic of Scottish post-punk Postcard Records stock, 'Sorry for Laughing' represents the other notable stand out track here. All propulsive, skitling guitars, gnarling away between a grimy melancholy and danceable funky uplift, 'Sorry for Laughing' feels fresh as eggs on toast served up in some girl's bedsit. The reference to Charles Atlas not being able 'to do the things we do' is representational of the in the chip shop before getting lost in the night, stammer glammer feel, of this track.

No-wave proper comes in the form of Lizzy Mercier Descloux's version of Arthur Brown's 'Fire' and Bush Tetra's 'Too Many Creeps'. Descloux's band Rosa Yemen were a fantastic quirky no-wave moment of loose 'as' two string skidlers with free scatter lyrics on top thus pre-empting the more recent Life Without Buildings rubber band skeletal pop. Whilst not quite hitting Rosa Yemen heights this version of 'Fire' pops along well enough. Bush Tetras featured on the Jean-Michel Basquiat biopic by Julian Schnabel just because that's the kind of band they are. Bobbing ultra hip slunk bass, staccato cut guitar with Driller Killer girl extras saying about what's happening with a 'I don't wanna' over the top. 

Unfortunately the comp's title track by Material, 'Bustin' Out' is a bit displaced here, sounding more Van Damme fight sequence gone all bargain basement Frankie Knuckles and jack-off rock guitars-odd. An interesting segway from core post-punk act Throbbing Gristle comes in the form of Chris and Cosey's 'Heart Beat'. Half of TG move into cleaner sounding synth territory with freeform Kraftwerk/ Vangelis futurism pulsing smoothly forward. From MOEV's 'Cracked Mirror' comes a sugary sample that after some initial wincing actually gets broken down and balanced by a heartfelt vocal-rare in these waters.

Grizzly, paranoid and twitchy from Front 242, Tuxedomoon and Killing Joke-oooh it's defo the night Ballard stopped at a Travelodge outside Wolverhampton for a bit too long, hauled up and sweating away in his room, having a bad do on a steak bake. Delay vocalled monk gloom and tribal drums come from Dead Can Dance, a cheeky, programmed three chorder from No More with a bloke just half doin the vocals about suicide over the top and you're almost there. Meanwhile 23 Skidoo are caught in a Paris no-go zone with an endless rolling end of the night bass following them, faint invisible sirens are all around and a jamming Ethiopian bazzar house band go past a few times in a rusty transit-'The Gospel Comes to New Guinea'.

Don't let the 28 weeks, London screaming cover fool you-the comps got some good stuff for the post punk nerd when you start scratchin' around! 

8/10  

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