Trevor Jackson

Metal Dance

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This selection of unmixed tracks from graphic designer, DJ, and producer Trevor Jackson -- known more for his early-2000s Playgroup project than any of his many other activities -- is true to its title and subtitle. The title is taken from SPK's included 1983 single, a swift and battering industrial dance track that is emblematic of the compilation as a whole. Metal Dance indeed surveys industrial, post-punk, and EBM (electronic body music) with a handful of classics surrounded by numerous rarities. A figure more pertinent to the package than SPK is Martin Rushent -- Jackson's childhood hero, to whom the compilation is dedicated. Rushent, the late electronic pop pioneer, co-produced the meticulously assembled dub of Pete Shelley's "Witness the Change," which rattled and thumped chests in New York's storied underground clubs. He's also behind Hard Corps' "Je Suis Passée," also included in dub form -- not as aggressive as the Shelley track, but even more penetrating with its lancing synth probes. It's quite possible that love for Rushent's most commercially successful work -- namely the Human League's Dare! -- acted as a gateway for many keen music fans into these darker, more adventurous sounds that developed throughout the decade. Other rarely (or otherwise never) compiled treats come from unsung Australians Severed Heads (the somewhat terrifying and invigorating "Dead Eyes Opened"), obscure Spaniards Diseño Corbusier (whose ode to an African slave rebellion is akin to a more pungent Liaisons Dangereuses), and Amsterdam combo Schlaflose Nächte (whose thrilling "Move" is somewhere between Liliput, ESG, and Bush Tetras). All of this is worthy of re-visitation or discovery. In the case of Beavis & Butt-Head punch line Alien Sex Fiend, context combined with Jackson's enthusiasm have a way of engendering reappraisal.

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