A fascinating 'Compact' overview,
This review is from: Returning Wheel (Audio CD)
When I purchased this 3 cd box a few years ago (for around $12 USD!) I had no idea what the Minimal Compact(MC) sound was like other than a few samples I had heard from somewhere on the internet.
Most of my pre-purchase bio information on MC I obtained from wiki and became interested.
From the late 70's and into the 1980s, Minimal Compact could best be described as an art collective from Tel Aviv Israel who create intellegent post-punk, new wave-ish music.
Surprisingly (to my joy) their sound reminds me primarily of Joy Division fused with Gary Numanesque imagery (dystopian sci-fi ala Replicas + Telekon), or better yet suggests an Israeli take on the great band New Order. MC's vocalist (the male vox in this case) has a subtle Ian Curtis chill which is highlighted by a euro accent (Israeli here). The big difference is that MC sound nowheres as 'down' as Curtis, but maintain the edgy quality or "dark" mood.
The included booklet (bio,pix,lyrics, tiny print) is vast with info and really gives the buyer a solid picture of what this band was about.All is housed in a thick cardboard box with each cd in a cardboard mini-record sleeve. The first cd is a "best of", the second is remixes and extended cuts (so this cd certainly has a club/dance feel, and cd three is rare archive (where their sound becomes more exploratory).
The dystopian view of the world is grounded not in other-worldly dreamscapes but rather a mood best typified by the grounded reality of a nation under siege. The liner notes even reflect on the fact that DURING several taping sessions their studio was impacted by Hesbollah missile fire. It's no wonder that the lyrical content seems bleak at times. Like the nation itself though, the music evolves into the positive world of hope and promise...eventually.
I was very impressed with just how inclusive this box set is. It's a decent package (probably all you'll really need) to include in a comprehensive music lovers' collection. Minimal Compact's 'Returning Wheel' is a great find. The audio quality is exceptional, alot of time and patience with mastering and overall product perfection went into this release. There is MUCH more here than the 'best of' release Raging And Dancing: The Anthology.
If you can get this cheap (they are virually unknown to most) GO FOR IT!