Various Artists

Mute Tonal Evidence [USA]

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Mute Tonal Evidence (usa) is a superb, eclectic sampler from Mute's early-'90s roster of artists. Excellent tracks from Wire, I Start Counting, Crime & the City Solution, Meat Beat Manifesto, Renegade Soundwave, Easy, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and other fine bands prove Mute has always had impeccable taste in music. For obvious reasons, the collection leads toward European artists, and most of them are acts that never really caught on in the U.S. It's a shame, because bands like New Fast Automatic Daffodils and Fortran 5 had all of the talent of peers such as Happy Mondays and 808 State, to which they respectively might be compared. The collection works as more than just a best-of compilation. The selected songs and great sequencing make for a worthy stand-alone album. It's like putting in 16 of one's favorite CDs, hitting random play, and striking it rich. Since many of the chosen artists never achieved best-seller status (to put it mildly), Mute Tonal Evidence (usa) is a fine document of an experimental, artistic time in music. Many of the songs are remixes, alternate recordings, or previously unavailable tracks. Mute Tonal Evidence (usa) is essential listening for discriminating fans of alternative music.

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