Strut present ‘Metal Dance’, a new compilation from one of the UK’s most respected DJ / producers, the man behind Playgroup and original founder of the legendary label Output Recordings, Trevor Jackson. Echoing elements of his renowned DJ Kicks mix from 2003, Jackson draws here on specials that have peppered his DJ sets for almost two decades. ‘Metal Dance’ mines deep and hones in on the more underground and danceable side of industrial, post-punk and EBM (Electronic Body Music), a phrase coined by Ralf Hütter of Kraftwerk but honed by later bands like DAF and Front 242 as socialist realist aesthetics were dragged onto the dancefloor during the mid-’80s. Jackson cherry-picks classics and rarities from this era, including a new edit of Nitzer Ebb favourite ‘Control I’m Here’ (sampled on Quartz’ rave classic ‘Meltdown’), the cold dance of Analysis’ ‘Surface Tension’, Neon’s dark ‘Voices’, re-interpreting a Master C&J riff from the early days of Chicago house, and hard-hitting dubs from Pete Shelley, Alien Sex Fiend and more. Herein lie sounds that have heavily influenced today’s crop of artists – from LCD Soundsystem and The Knife to Factory Floor and Hot Chip. Elsewhere on the album, Jackson brings in unexpected gems – a track from cult John Carpenter film ‘Escape From New York’ re-edited by Klein & MBO’s Mario Boncaldo, a lost album track by avant garde Spanish artist Diseno Corbusier and a UK promo-only mix of Yello’s ‘You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess’.
Restless Idylls is the first full length album from Tropic of Cancer, the solo project of Los Angeles-based Camella Lobo. Lobo debuted in 2009 with ‘The Dull Age’/’Victims’, a 10” single on Downwards and the first of three collaborations with Juan Mendez (Silent Servant). Two years later came a second Downwards release (‘Be Brave’, remixed by Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk), followed soon after by The Sorrow Of Two Blooms on Blackest Ever Black – the label’s third release and one if its most cherished. Since then there have been 12” releases on Mannequin, Sleeperhold Publications, Ghostly International (a Part Times Punks Sessions live split with HTRK) and a limited edition compilation, The End of All Things, compiling singles and unreleased recordings. Restless Idylls marks ToC’s return to BEB and consists of eight new recordings written in Los Angeles, with additional production from Karl O’Connor (Regis) in New York and London. Its themes? The usual: romance, devotion, pain and helplessness. Mixed up mortals struggling against the brute mechanics of fate, and proving unequal to the task. A forced retreat into private, precious idylls of longing, faith, mystery, even misery. The urgent motorik of lead single ‘More Alone’ is perhaps a misleading foretaste of the full-length, which is more lush, languid and extravagantly despondent than previous TOC material. Troubled hymns from an empty room, in a drowned world. A sensual and sepulchral psychedelia.
The band drop their highly anticipated album debut on NYC post-punk stalwart DFA. Tracks from both of their singles appear alongside a slew previously unheard synth-wave / EBM gems. A vivid snapshot of a progressive band, still in the ascendant, smashing through yet another ceiling.