Magazine Sixty Music Review with Moving Away From The Pulsebeat

Greg Fenton reviews Moving Away From The Pulsebeat – Post-Punk Britain 1978-1981 – Cherry Red Records

Shall we discuss Post-Punk again? Maybe not beyond sounding like it was dreamt up as one of those catch-all titles, though lacking the necessary breadth to fit the great divide between its wild diversity of styles. In reality, the term doesn’t manage to squeeze all and sundry into one box, labelled and neatly packaged no matter how hard it tries. After all, how could it?

However, there is an obvious disparity between what happened between 1976 and at a stretch 1978/ 79 in the UK before almost everyone moved on from thrashing out three-bar chords to accommodate something a little more intriguing, delicate, or thoughtful. In that case, I guess the phrase post-punk might just prove itself. And listening to this inspired collection of music from that time answers its proposition.

It also defies logic when the bands range from Ultravox’s trailblazing Hiroshima Mon Amour to Buzzcocks pounding Moving Away From The Pulsebeat and you ask, exactly where does one genre begin and one end? Does it matter about the labels in the end, of course not. What counts here is the music’s tantalizing quality and what it might be provocatively saying to you.

The second CD has The Pop Group whose She Is Beyond Good And Evil boats some of the finest rhythm guitar playing of the era, then Joy Division – Disorder containing some of the most beautiful words, period. Followed by the crash, bang and shuffle of The Slits, shining and wonderful The Associates, The Human League, and music from the peerless Killing Joke calling out the definitive difference to all that theory.

CD three hits the ground running with PIL – Poptones and for me provides the strongest selection of fabulous music found on the compilation. Radical excitement to a T. Continuing with Scritti Politti, Adam and the Ants, The Fall, Echo and the Bunnymen with The Puppet you can see just where this is all heading.

CD four expands the difference between, say, The Jam and Throbbing Gristle, Virgin Prunes and New Order. Again we’re back to the art of sheer divergence. Plus there is lots of new music to find too alternating between guitar-based sparkle and engaging electronics. The latter in reflection still feels more tantalizing in ways the former doesn’t, but time always tells.

The final chapter number 5, begins with one of The Clash’s finer movements The Magnificent Seven, still feeling exceptional incorporating all the influences that made them sound so rich in the first place. Then you have Robert Wyatt’s timeless Born Again Cretin. Followed by a crazy cast of disparate players as they evolved out of the very early 1980’s from Josef K, to The Outcasts, to a brilliant Ludus, and onto the likes of Fire Engines, who along with bands such as The Higsons pointed towards the next generation that qualified the music papers fascination. Love the fact or not.

Release: March 29
Buy Moving Away From The Pulsebeat from Cherry Red Records Here

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