Boomkat Product Review:
Deluxe editions of an iconic Crepuscule compilation, the labels very first release back in November 1980, now celebrating its 40th anniversary; one of the original and very best "anything goes" label comps - a timely reminder of brooding evergreens by Gavin Bryars, John Foxx, Martin Hannett, Michael Nyman and a cast of contemporary notables.
An early window into the Belgian-UK connection framed by Factory affiliates Les Disques du Crepuscule, ‘From Brussels With Love’ was introduced to these ears by a pretty girl in a back yard in Longsight many moons ago, and It’s stuck with us ever since, casting an infinitely nostalgic vision of romantic torment and existential wist for the ages that we’ll never tire of returning to.
It's one of the finest, most memorable sets of poor-but-sexy bedsit chamber music, crafted noise experiments and jangly art-pop of its era. From the gorgeous John Foxx jingles to a stray Dome ace in the janky groove of ‘Twist Up’, the set takes in all styles like some personal mixtape from your enviably stylish friends in Belgium, covering Martin Hannett’s motorik night slug ‘The Music Room’ thru to Neo-classical from Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Satie.
"Originally released as a cassette with a 16 page booklet packaged in a PVC wallet, From Brussels With Love featured 21 exclusive tracks from the international avant-garde and new wave, as well as contributions from the celebrated Factory Records roster. Then, as now, the featured artists include A Certain Ratio, Gavin Bryars, Harold Budd, Thomas Dolby, Dome, The Durutti Column, John Foxx, Martin Hannett, Richard Jobson, The Names, Bill Nelson, Kevin Hewick + New Order, Michael Nyman and Der Plan.
Running for 78 minutes, the cosmopolitan ‘cassette journal’ was curated by Michel Duval, Annik Honore and Wim Mertens, and also includes extended interviews with Brian Eno and legendary French film actress Jeanne Moreau. The cover art is by Jean-Francois Octave, with additional artwork in the booklet by Benoit Hennebert, Marc Borgers and Claude Stassart.
From Brussels With Love quickly sold 6000 copies around Europe, earning rapturous reviews in the UK music press. “This is a reminder – without really trying, without being obvious – that pop is modern poetry. Is the sharpest, shiniest collection of experiences. Is always something new” (Paul Morley, NME). More recently, Dan Fox of art magazine Frieze described TWI 007 as “a masterpiece of distinctly northern European post-punk eclecticism.”
To mark the 40th anniversary of From Brussels With Love, Crepuscule will issue 3 remastered editions. The most ambitious of these is a deluxe 2xCD earbook edition (TWI 007 CD) presented as a 10-inch square hardback book, with two full length audio CDs and a 60 page book including rare images, posters, sleeve designs and period ephemera, plus a detailed history of the Crepuscule label between 1979 and 1984, with contributions from Duval, Honore, Mertens, Octave, Hennebert and photographer Philippe Carly.
CD1 includes all 21 tracks from the original cassette. CD2 includes tracks omitted from TWI 007 for reasons of space, as well as related Crepuscule tracks by Michael Nyman, Bill Nelson, John Foxx, Richard Jobson, Durutti Column, Repetition and The Names, and contemporary songs by other Belgian artists including Digital Dance, Polyphonic Size, Aksak Maboul, Karel Goeyvaerts and Marine.
In addition, Crepuscule issue a facsimile edition cassette package (TWI 007), and a gatefold double vinyl edition (TWI 008) pressed on coloured vinyl (Disc 1 is black, and Disc 2 is white), with the booklet pages printed on the inner gatefold."