Boomkat Product Review:
So, wow. This is the first ever compendium of Martin Hannett's work with Steve Hopkins as The Invisible Girls. Comprising 22 rare and largely unheard gems from 1976 - 1987, including Nico's 'Procession' amidst stacks of haunting and jaw-dropping studio experiments and even their 1976 soundtrack for a short animation.
As history tells us, the pair met at a Soft Machine gig in Manchester's science and technology university, UMIST, in 1976. Realising they had common interests - Hopkins, a hippie veteran of Manc psych band Gemini Zent and Mecca Tropicana's in-house band; Hannett as a committed audiophile and local ringleader - they were soon enough jamming and playing backing band/producers to a string of local notables - John Cooper Clarke, Jilted John, Durutti Column among them - all under the moniker, The Invisible Girls.
These 22 tracks frame a remarkable and ambitious relationship between the pair, spanning their unreleased 'Moods' recorded at Strawberry Studios between 1980 and 1987, along with much farther out gear like 'Concorde Drone' (Köner fans: eat your heart out) and the skeletal creep, 'Collective Project', or Hannett's amazing solo gear ranging from shuddering rhythmic noise to windswept ambience and the jaw-dropping proto techno-disco sophistication of 'Space Music'. OK, maybe their soundtrack is missable, but the rest is utterly ace, plugging a fair gap in Manchester music history, especially for fans of Factory, post punk and electronic music.