Manchester North of England – 7CD Various Artists Boxset – Cherry Red Records

As Buzzcocks once sang: Nostalgia. Dreams are afloat and you can dive headlong into this epic, expansive trip down memory lane. Beginning at the (almost) point of Punk Rock with Buzzcocks Spiral Scratch EP (still got mine) this selection co-hosted by the indispensable Manchester music archive MDMA gets seriously disorientating by the breadth of records on offer here across several CD’s. Indeed it might be a smart idea to explore the site as the sounds unfold to add a visual context. This brilliantly realised sequence – yes the time worn Factory legends are present (as always) – but this compilation impressively digs much deeper to reveal inclusions from people you’ve never heard of, evoking a riotous celebration of colour. As the title says its ‘Independent’ music from 1977 through to 1993 – not sure why it ends there, maybe there simply wasn’t room for an eighth! And all sorts of my personal favourites from the era are present from Magazine: The Light Pours Out Of Me, Joy Division: She’s Lost Control and so on. But also music from the next decade’s Dance and then House explosion with Quando Quango’s Love Tempo plus 52nd Street’s Cool As Ice and A Certain Ratio predating T-Coy: Carino and of course Gerald’s: Voodoo Ray. The list then delivers more typically ‘Indie’ sounds via James, Happy Mondays and the rest providing all sorts of reasons for you to investigate further. In ways you should just ignore this review and go look at the tracklist for yourself, as when is it not a delight to hear The Fall’s speedy Rowche Rumble or indeed music by the Durutti Column. When they said: Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, they were dead right.

Release: July 28

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