It's an inspired move this, by LTM, to release a compilation from an overlooked chapter in Manchester's musical history. Why overlooked? Well, the label snobs like me were too busy braving "the nation's cooler record stores" (always hated that phrase by the way Pete, just so you know) looking for records on labels like NuGroove, Underground Resistance, Prescription and other US outlets at the height of their powers in the early 1990s. There didn't seem to be any point in enduring the dreadful manners of the "club stuff" shop staff ****s to get stuff that didn't come from very far away (although Warp and Network were the exception). Nevertheless, at the time, the mission statement for Robs Records appeared to be the ("dance" music) boat that Factory missed. Too little too late.
Fast forward 15 years or more and listening to this compilation it seems that I, for one, missed a trick. "Auteur Labels: Robs Records" is a timeless, Balearic-flavoured selection with a distinctive feel. Ignore the opener (you know the one I mean - love it, loathe it or, like me, not bothered about it) as it's not particularly representative of this LP even though it gave the label its biggest hit. Instead head straight for track 2 - the lost Bernard Sumner electro-classic "Security" by Beat Club - one of only four tracks on the CD I actually remember from the time.
The deal-clincher, and reason to buy this record above all others, is surely Digital Justice's "Theme From: It's All Gone Pearshaped". The title may sound like a cliché now, but it wasn't back then (1995). This is mighty -a homage to Derrick May. Recorded in Manchester but of course the label snob (me) didn't buy it until it came out on Transmat a year later - across the Atlantic AND back again - well worth a visit to your local DJ ****wit emporium (should've used that phrase instead, if you ask me Pete). Even now, people still ask me what it is when I put it on. Pity it's been edited down to 7 minutes (from 12) though, as it's a track I could play on repeat forever (could've gained three more minutes by leaving off "Ain't No Use" too).
As with all LTM releases there's the usual comprehensive sleevenotes with a mini-biog on the man himself and some background on the songs and artists. One minor disappointment is the underwhelming mastering/sound quality. In spite of that though, Robs Records' Auteur Labels selection is, for those who weren't paying attention the first time (me included), a retrospective breath of fresh air.Read more ›