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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good (not as good), 22 Oct 2002
This review is from: Disco Not Disco 2 (Audio CD)
The second volume of Strut's take on the late 70's/early 80s interstice between punk/rock/funk/disco/whatever fails to match up the first. Which isn't to write it off, by any means. There just isn't the same consistent quality as on that exceptional first volume, but there are still some great moments of inspiration and pure quirkiness. The emphasis is more on the electronic side of the dancefloor than on vol. 1, with Laid Back's 'White Horse' (a Prince favourite, allegedly) a great opener, followed by Alexander Robotnick (I'm sure that's precisely what's on the birth certificate) with the Moroderesque 'Problemmes D'Amour', another fine funky synth-based shaker or stomper depemding on your preference. The subsequent inclusion of a relatively mediocre (for them) Can track and a throwaway (again, for them) Material effort mystify; it would also, surely, have been preferable to have included the Clash's 'Magnificent Seven' rather than the tawdry by-numbers self-publicisation of 'This Is Radio Clash', which merely drags and, as a concluding track, leaves the listener with a feeling of vague disappointment at the disc's conclusion, coming as it does after the dated 'Sting' by Barry Waite and the limp '14 Days' by Lex. However, the inclusion of Yello's supremely funky and arch 'Bostich, Connie Case's rough'n'ready funk opus 'Get Down' (hmm, the thought that must have gone into that title - fine tune, though) and Eddy Grant's hypnotic electro-jam 'Timewarp', released under the psuedonym of the Coach House Rhythm Section, hit the spot more than somewhat. But it's almost worth shelling out for this compilation purely to obtain the indescribable 'Let's Go Swimming' by the one and only Arthur Russell. An incredible track, not exactly staple dancefloor fodder maybe, but stunning, adventurous music by any standards, with rolling, echoing percussion, jazzy impressionistic vocals, stabbing electronics and even a smear of Russell's famed cello at the fade. A curate's egg of a compilation, then, uneven as perhaps befits the nature of the undertaking, but with enough high points to allow it to stand out as a worthy tribute to an era, rather than a genre. Certainly I look forward to volume 3, especially if Strut can dig up some more 'out' examples of music that falls into this area, but especially if they can enable more of Arthur Russell's music to be heard. The man was a total one-off; somebody should compile his wondrous works and issue then NOW. Please! In conclusion, if you bought volume 1 and love it as much as I do, prepare yourself for a slight anti-climax, but prepare yourself also for some sporadically great (to say nothing of funky) music you never heard before.
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Disco Not Disco 2
Disco Not Disco 2 by Various Artists (Audio CD - 2002)
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