In the Nursery


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Scatter is that rare beast among career-spanning compilations, a collection that both serves as an excellent introduction to the band's oeuvre, and packed with enough fine obscurities and new treats to make it equally essential for longtime fans. Following no particular chronological course, Scatter runs from the first releases up to the then-most-recent, sometimes in unexpected ways. "Mystery," from the debut EP release of ITN's post-punk guitar days, receives a radical sonic update and remix as "Mystere" to match more current ITN sounds, and does so with both power and drama. Other new remixes include an even lovelier version of Duality's "Belle Epoque," "Twins," and Sense's "Sixth Sense," while the rarities include "Epitaph," "Seraphic," and a remix of "Workcorps," all from long deleted compilations, and all quite good indeed. An unissued track from the Anatomy of a Poet sessions appears as well -- "The Painter" features another fine Colin Wilson narration of a poem, in this case Yeats' Under Ben Bulben, over exquisite musical backing. The hands-down winner of all the new and rare songs, however, is their remix of the Sabres of Paradise's "Haunted Dancehall," an absolutely stunning reworking of the already grand techno cult classic into a lush, chilling anthem. The selection of older tracks can't be faulted at all; while not every peak could be included, such key ITN tracks as "To the Faithful," "The Pearl," and "Miracle of the Rose II" showcase the band at their neoclassical best, while even earlier tracks as "Huntdown" give a fine reminder of the band's rougher origins. Add to that a jam-packed booklet with testimonials from numerous musicians and writers, plus a variety of rare photos and artwork, and there's no doubt Scatter is a must-have on all fronts, no exceptions.

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