Boomkat Product Review:
An endearingly effervescent introduction to the synth-pop democracy of Polytechnic Youth, They Make No Say: 45s on 33 collects 13 songs from hard-to-find 7” gems issued by the North London label over the last 3 years.
As a subsidiary of The Great Pop Supplement, Polytechnic Youth was established in order to circumvent the pressing plant lag created by RSD; using a vinyl cutting lathe bought in Germany, 2014 to quickly, efficiently, and crucially, affordably manufacture short runs of clear 5” singles, 8” singles, 45s that played from the inside out, all with a sound and look that hearkens back to the original wave rush of ’78 to ’83 - think Fad Gadget, John Bender, early Mute, etc.
Those releases, marketed to a tight knit group of fans via Facebook and a website, have since become scarce collectors items, so the label do us all a favour with this 13 course taster of the catalogue’s lesser known, but no less brilliant numbers.
If we weren’t told otherwise, it’d be easy to mistake this set as originating over 30 years ago, taking in the bubbling Belgo-French synth-pops of Groupuscule’s Je Suis Marxiste - something of a mission statement for the label’s ideals - along with Detox Twins’ phet-nerved minimal wave zinger Einhorn Suicide - which sounds like it could have appeared on the Cold Waves of Color series - and more abstract, expressive synth scapes such as Volume Groop’s Movement and Middex’s Space Sorry.
It’s charming from start to finish, selected and sequenced to give the broadest view of the label’s tastes, and potentially introduce you to some choice new, retro-vintage artists sure to pique interest from fans of Pye Corner Audio, Ghost Box or Stereolab, who’re all coincidentally fans of the label. Bonus points for front cover image of the Hollings Building, a perfect piece of pop architecture locally known as “The Toast Rack” in Manchester!