Boomkat Product Review:
Medical Records clean up with a comprehensive reissue survey of Severed Heads’ prime period circa the Stretcher single which gives this comp its title, collecting multiple versions of cuts written specifically for release in different regions; U.S.A., Canada, UK and Australia.
Featuring 17 tracks produced between September ’84 and September ’85, it finds the group stripped down to Tom Ellard and Stephen Jones following split with Garry Bradbury and Paul Deering, allowing the core duo to run wild at the intersection of industrial dance music and experimental electronics, innovating with a range of unconventional studio techniques that incorporated concrète sampling methods, disco sequencer tricks, and slanted, pop-wise songwriting.
A few of these cuts have cropped up over the last few years in various comps, edits and reissues, but never all on the same set, which would cost and arm and a leg to compile yourself from originals, which understandably trade for a fair bit 2nd hand.
Inside you’ll find the timeless, prototypical dancefloor perks of Halo (Eng) - a template for Hot Chip, anyone? - and the New Order-compatible electro-pop of Petrol (CDN) plus the haunting, Chris & Cosey-paralleling Oscar’s Grind, and the remarkable sound design of Mambo Fist Mamba, along with a lesser known Canadian mix of Dead Eyes Open, and a messed-up alternative mix of Now An Explosive New Movie, stripped down and retitled New Explosions and including a frankly wild glitch that we’re guessing is either a way-ahead-of-its-time glitch or a pressing fault, but works either way.
Foundational stuff that still works a ‘floor to the bone. Highly recommended!