Disco Inferno are an interesting footnote to the British music scene in the mid-90s. It's 1994: while Britpop was rearing its ugly head in the guise of the Gallagher Brothers and their rivals Blur, and trip hop burgeoned under the commercial success of Portishead's Dummy and Massive Attack's Protection, Disco Inferno were in an entirely different place. A latter day Joy Division struggling to maintain their relevance, this inappropriately-named band embraced the world of sampling, not the jazzy grooves of instrumental hip-hop but found sounds played through their instruments: wind, rain, footsteps, things breaking. The results were sometimes messy, sometimes distressing, but often incredibly ahead of their time, matching the poignancy of Ian Crause's bitter wordplay.
While 'In Sharky Water' is angular post-punk, the brilliant 'New Clothes for the New World' could be said to owe more to acid house, with its demented loops of ringing bells, whistling and abrasive guitars. 'Whole Wide World Ahead' is the all-time best song to employ rain and thunder effects (except maybe Riders on the Storm), with rain-lashed loops colliding again and again in a powerful evocation of windswept melancholy. 'Footprints in Snow' uses a sample of the eponymous sound as a shuffling rhythm, adding layers of Christmassy bells and keyboards in a very contemporary (near-electronica) sounding finale. Results on the rest of the album are mixed, often overloaded with effects, but no-one in 1994 was going to tell them that they were on to a good thing, and that their album would be looked back on ten years later as a major innovation.