Various Artists

Café Après-midi: Crepuscule for Café Après-midi

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The Brussels-based Disques Du Crepuscule label was essentially a Belgian analogue to British Isles imprints like Postcard and Cherry Red, defying the conventional musical wisdom of its early-'80s origins to instead celebrate sophisticated, classicist pop that rejected the abrasiveness of post-punk and the arch futurism of New Wave, in favor of gorgeous vocals, hushed guitars, and bossa nova-inspired rhythms. In short, the "Crepuscule" aesthetic is not so far removed from the approach taken by compiler Toru Hashimoto, with his excellent Café Après-midi series, so it makes perfect sense for Hashimoto to assemble a Crepuscule retrospective of his own. With 23 tracks that span the breadth of the Disques Du Crepuscule and rescue some long-lost, long-forgotten cuts, the end result is not only a superb document of an underappreciated label, but also a stunning foray into indie pop's halcyon infancy; highlights include the Arcadians' "Lolita's Back in Town," the Durutti Column's "Experiment in Fifth," Devine & Statton's "Under the Weather," and the Pale Fountains' "Just a Girl."