Boomkat Product Review:
Carpark Records OG post-punk reissue label, Acute Records, close their account with one last necessary rescue; Rico Conning (engineer for Coil, Wire, Depeche Mode) and co’s “lost” 3rd album as The Lines, recorded at William Orbit’s studio, among others, in 1983.
Recently patched and blended from unfinished sessions, Hull Down effectively imagines what-might’ve-been in an alternate ‘80s where The Lines continued their trajectory after debut LP Therapy and follow-up Ultramarine, and the results are quite surreal, to be honest.
They follow a strange line between synth-pop and emergent dancefloor styles, absorbing electro-funk, digi-dub and studio-as-instrument new wave ideas in a febrile frisson of styles that sounds wickedly out of time-and-place.
From a taut but scratchy synth pop oddity Flat Feet that recalls Graham Lewis He Said project, thru to the rolling electro-disco élan of Single Engine Duster to the Liquid Liquid-style dub-disco jammer Zoko AM3 and haunting vocoder electro-funk on Where In The World, Conning and co were clearly brimming with ideas that never made it to the surface, until now.
Like the rest of the label’s catalogue from Glenn Branca to Ike Yard and The Method Actors, this is definitely one of those innovative, future-proofed post punk finds that warrants a new lease of life, reminding us of a hugely creative era in transitional flux that will probably never happen again, or quite like this at least.