Trading on the increasing popularity of all those canny post-punk algorithms currently being recycled by the likes of The Rapture, Franz Ferdinand and Radion 4, ‘Death Disco: Songs from Under the Dancefloor 1978-1984′ is a feisty little treasure trove of only the most angular and decisive guitar methane from the period just prior to the onslaught of new-romanticism; just as electro was whooping spotty-faced academic misfits into a mild-mannered frenzy and just as the B52’s were being heard overhead. And in some ways it’s a missing link between the two relations (as the pre-Marc Almond camp vocal flak of Gang Of Four’s Jon Hill attests).
Tracks like PIL’s ‘Death Disco’ serve to show just how derivative The Rapture are, and Throbbing Gristle provide much the same service for Ladytron and Chicks On Speed. Mostly though it’s a posthumous showcase for the most obscure and avante-hard acts of this period: The Normal, Rip Pig & Panic, The Higsons, the Lounge Lizards as well as some of the brightest and most enduring: The Buzzcocks, Human League, Caberet Voltaire and Brian Eno.
Best bit? Getting down with all of your chums on the Devo burlesque that is XTC’s outrageously joyful and eccentric ‘Meccanik Dancing (Oh We Go)’.
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