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Various Artists
80s Underground Cassette Culture Volume 1
Contort Yourself
Catalogue Number
Release Date
October 27, 2017

More excavations from the archives of early to mid and even late '80s post-punk cassette culture, featuring hits from the time by East End Butchers, Jacinthebox, Ende Shneaflie, Felix Menkar and cult classified numbers from Nocturnal Emissions and a killer proto-industrial techno banger from Merzbow (that matches his recent Ecstatic gem for sheer mind-melting madness!).

While each week drifts by, someone somewhere fishes about in a car boot sale to find a box of "lost treasures" from the other most creative period of underground electronic music (joint only to hardcore and jungle we dare say) and this week we are blessed with another stylishly packaged vinyl compilation of mid-period underground and experimental private issue gems. Original tracks that sound like they have been cut into a block of butter and then pressed onto a digestive biscuit. Lovingly remastered by an engineer knocking off work early. Yet what makes Contort Yourself's compilation stand out is the truly interesting range of styles that they have mined within this apparently very dreary decade.

Urbain Autopsy & K... turn in a truly dazzling dub number, a robust drum machine slowly crawling into an inferno of distortion, while Merzbow's obvious highlight D.D.T. asserts what we imagined a kick drum under his usual noise assaults would sound like. Elsewhere the self-styled stoned drawl of Magthea foreshadows Hype Williams by a few decades, yet Missing Persons Rotten To The Core is a theatrical precursor to Tarquin Manek & Martina Quake's recent Blackest Ever Black 12".

80s Underground Cassette Culture Volume 1 is a truly brilliant and eye-opening selection, one to be cherished by anyone who got excited by Ecstatic's Trax comp and Optimo's stellar [Cease & Desist] comp.

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Contort Yourself

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