Veteran DJ Mike Maguire’s spectacular series chronicling the seismic developments in electronic-based sounds reaches 1984 for its fourth volume – another stellar collection packed with musical milestones.
Here he collects some classics from the album and those he didn’t have space for into a rather fine mix.
Like what you hear? Read more below. We have two copies of the album to giveaway to 2 o’ y’all lucky R$N lovers… simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with “I need to know more about 1984 and New Beat to New Wave… please educate me”
Despite being 27 years old, these seminal pieces of music still feel fresh and regularly slay discerning dancefloors. Classics include the peerless machine-sex-funk of Cabaret Voltaire’s Sensoria, the enigmatic masterpiece Looking From A Hilltop by Section 25 and Jesse Saunders’ ‘On & On’ – credited by some as the first ever house track.
Former Yello synth wizard Carlos Peron’s brilliantly off-kilter ‘ET’ will undoubtedly mess with leftfield heads and for anyone who doesn’t own Anne Clark’s stunning art-dance anthem Our Darkness, it’s included here in all its bleak beauty.
Countless new bands continue to mine the 80s and genres like new beat, EBM and cold wave get namedropped as influences for urbane effect. All the big acts of that decade are reappearing, so it’s never been more timely to revisit this selection of cutting edge music from the vanguard.
Kris Needs on the Bustin’ Out Story so far:
We’ve had the post-punk foragings of 1979 – 1981’s maiden excursion, the following year’s spirit of excitement as electronic music came into its own with ‘Planet Rock’, and 1983’s astute encapsulation of the spirit of adventure made possible by new technology, meaning nothing was sacred as source material any more; from TV shows to movie soundtracks, inspiring moods, melodies or mischief.
It’s often widely assumed that 1984 was something of a calm-before-the-storm doldrums period in music as acid house loomed on the horizon – a myth shattered by this selection. Synthesized recording was progressing wildly, hurried along by developments such as hip hop – now trading session bands for drum machines and proto-samplers, while electro-derived beats underpinned late 70s disco to create a dancefloor mutant called boogie. Upgrading electronic tools were affording pioneers new methods to venture into back alleys and darker corners, where sex, anger or psychotic imbalance funneled through the wide-open circuits.
Out of the sheer volume of material, Mike has deftly woven an exotic snapshot-blend of 1984’s titanic deluge, focusing predominantly on the maverick darker side with trailblazing outings such as the Flowerpot Men’s coruscating ‘Jo’s So Mean To Josephine’ and Youth and Ben Watkins’ cinematic Empty Quarter project. 1984 was also a revolutionary year for the US underground, represented here by Strafe’s epochal party-starting percolator ‘Set It Off’.
As with previous volumes, Mike continues to chart the progress of the industrial movement, itself enjoying a pivotal year when Front 242 launched their Electronic Body Music movement with tracks such as the epic ‘Commando Mix’ from their ‘No Comment’ album. The set also features harsh, sonically innovative missives from Australia’s Severed Heads and Canada’s Skinny Puppy.
One feature of the series being maintained is the reappearance of important, even under-rated, artists from previous sets, including the aforementioned Anne Clark, and Adrian Sherwood’s mighty Dub Syndicate with ‘The Show Is Coming’.
There was revolution crackling in the air in 1984 and Mike Maguire has again done an inimitable job of bottling it.
Get the full album and more info here