Various Artists

Presage(s)

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Presage(s) was the first compilation released by 4AD. Aside from the inclusion of Modern English, the 1980 collection featured none of the label's well-known acts. Artists like Spasmodic Caress and Red Atkins wouldn't go on to release anything else on the label, while others like CVO, Psychotik Tanks, and Last Dance released singles. Most of the material here falls within the experimental and avant-garde terrains, hardly evidencing what the label would later become known for. At its best, these bands sound like second-rate versions of flagship acts Bauhaus and Birthday Party, although still interesting; at its worst, these bands sound just plain bad, like failed art school experiments. Or in the case of Last Dance, a hearty stab at Siouxsie & the Banshees duplication. Never issued on CD, contributions from CVO, Psychotik Tanks, and Last Dance would be added to the 1997 CD reissue of Natures Mortes, another 4AD compilation that originated in 1981. Mildly fascinating for 4AD completists and post-punk fetishists only.

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