Boomkat Product Review:
Strut Records' crucial compendium of Factory's lesser-known, deadly dancefloor killers trustingly collected by the legendary Bill Brewster - 24 in total spanning definitive early-mid '80s music by Section 25, The Durutti Column, Marcel King, Quando Quango, Biting Tongues and many more. They span the nascent years of the influential Manchester label, charting the double refraction of cutting-edge dancefloor ideas between Cottonopolis and New York which followed the flight paths of New Order, Section 25 and A Certain Ratio during their early '80s heyday. Now, as everyone knows, Manchester loves a good dance, and the incessant search for "the perfect beat" lead that early band of pioneers such as Martin Moscrop, Bernard Sumner, Mike Pickering and Rob Gretton to essentially recreate what they'd experienced at NYC clubs like The Danceteria and Village Vanguard at their newly opened Haçienda club on Whitworth street, and even going as far as enlisting the likes of Arthur Baker, and DJs Mark Kamin and Jellybean Benitez to produce and remix for the label. In the process they transformed the Manchester landscape of dour post-punk into a stylishly forward thinking assimilation of New York club sounds. And the tunes? There's some absolute killers here (read that in a Gary Barlow voice for emphasis), from the eight-minute megamix of Section 25's seminal 'Looking From A Hilltop' to the hypnotic Electro sophistication of John "Jellybean" Benitez' restructure of 52nd Street's 'Cool As Ice' and Mark Kamin's fruity New York remix of Marcel King's '84 soul burner 'Reach For Love'. But it's not all Electroid. There's also a healthy representation of the label's more outre and exotic tastes, taking in Dennis Bovell's X-O-Dubs cut 'See Them A'Come' and of the lush romance of The Durutti Column's 'For Belgian Friends'. Best of all for newcomers to the sound, compiler Bill Brewster has sidestepped the label's dodgier moments and presented the perfect springboard for any any younger heads to dive into this era. Essential!