Travelling through the expressway of electronic motion a question might spring to mind. Centred around songs verses sounds, which are the most significant here? It’s maybe that the uniquely 1980’s song structures hanging lose over the fast propulsion of drum machines, desperate to cling to a tradition of accessible, tuneful melody like rock n roll anyway is only a heartbeat away, can seem dated transmitted to contemporary ears. Perhaps that’s why an inclination towards the moodier atmospheres generated by OMD or Blancmange, where the words feel as interesting as the music, comes into play. Then again on CD.1 you have Fashion’s brisk Streetplayer, Japan’s syncopated heaven realised as European Son alongside Ultravox’s brutalist Monument singularly highlighting the introspective quality moving in tune with the times. Retrospectively or otherwise.
Spread across three discs this will either play like a nostalgia fest or cause you to burst into that peculiar eighties dance people with fringes used to do at any given opportunity. But in all seriousness the second disc has New Order – Temptation, Soft Cell’s eternally epic Sex Dwarf plus the superlative production genius of Yello. CD 3 then opens with Heaven 17 and Let Me Go (one of the better representations of the genre) as Thick Pigeon – Subway supplies one of the most intriguing tracks on here. The likewise titled Sergeant Frog – Profile Dance sequences all of those glorious, brand new, synthesizers together in fizzy harmony again delivering upon the promise of a future tomorrow. Does the word Pop always mean the same thing in any decade, or is it the music itself that becomes more exciting over time?
Release: February 17
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