The Social Classics series, selected by music supreme Don Letts is shaping up to be one of Heavenly Record's most inspired ideas. As with the excellent Volume 2 Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown
, which covered the dub-laden sounds that would have been spilling out of the speakers at London's Roxy and influencing punks, Volume 3 concentrates not on the seminal New York hip-hop created during 81-82, but rather the sounds that inspired it.
The breadth of music covered on here is both excellent and interesting. Although the emphasis is on the electronic sounds that led New York to give birth to hip-hop, taking in obvious pioneers like Grandmaster Flash, there are other equally startling, less obvious choices. Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" sounds right at home, as do artists as diverse as Kraftwerk, The Clash and The Mohawks. As an added bonus, the CD also serves what should be its prime objective; it makes a damn good party record. The premise is interesting, but never gets in the way of allowing you to move your body as was originally intended when this music was made. Perhaps this is the future; historically pertinent music you can talk about and dance to? --Thom Allott