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More Art for the pop conoisseur.
on 12 February 2014
Where would this series be without the staples of ZTT if you need mentioning -Art Of Noise, Frankie, Propaganda and 808 State if you need the names. However this time round overall they feature less prominently. There's fine variations on old themes and Frankie prove they were more than their number ones but the only genuine rarity for what its worth, is the highly listenable 19min Complete Machinery from the "Abba On Stockhausen". The full 4 part suite of ABC's Look Of Love (first time in its entirety on CD) works pretty also as a full listening experience and i'll argue the most significant project Trevor Horn has ever been involved in.
There's a heady stylish previously unreleased, somewhat PSB/Shep Pettibone sounding mix of Act's "Friendy Warning"- great and some tasteful 80s syncopated brassy funk pop from Stephen Duffy-a fair choice in these surroundings.
Each successive release in this series has moved away from just including ZTT acts. While Vol 2 sometimes featured associated personnel as remixers or artists outside the labelVol 3 includes artists where the connection can be rather tenuous- the dub version of Our House and extended 12" of Sign Of The Times are worth having (although previously released) but their presence here disappointingly seems a bit slight due in part to be the association of their titles to the subtitle of Vol 3 -"A Soundtrack For Living" rather than any highly chiselled and ultra modern ZTT type sounds. You might forget why you got into the series.
More positively theres an enticing new context provided in themes from cutting edge youth TV (plus The Word!)and related tasteless self promotion of Sigue Sigue. Flashy, and frantic and yet a little gauche electro soundtracks neatly erm soundtrack the times. Its a pity though that this couldn't have become more of a defining concept and stamp on the album as the sleeve notes reveal the failure to licence other TV related tunes. New Orders 'Reportage' and Art Of Noise Max Headroom theme just 2 amongst them.
By scanning the net further with more non ZTT artists including tracks prior to the labels existence this compilation feels a little more disjointed than previous volumes.But yet that could mean its possible to listen end to end constantly diverted. Of course there is still more of the same premise- new excursions and explorations in the world of the 12 inch. Where the edited version is only a mere morsel to be bypassed. Indeed there is a Network 7 (12 inch version!) Those in the know might complain of still unreleased nuggets bypassed for more familiar material but there are still a fair share of rarities.Reaching the parts that other 80s compilations don't reach.