Sunday, February 17, 2008
Mute Audio Documents 1978-1984
Ohmanohmanohman! This is one of the greatest things ever. What this is is a 10-disc(!) box set released last year by England's venerable Mute Records, probably my second favorite British record label next to Rough Trade. It collects all (as far as I know) all the singles (A-sides & B-sides!) they released from their beginning in 1978 to 1984. First of all, let me just say that this bad boy is expensive. The list price is $135 (I only paid $85 for mine though!) but it's worth every penny. The first 8 discs cover the singles from this six year period and the final two discs are rarities.
For those of you not in the know about Mute Records, they formed in the wake of the DIY Punk spirit in 1978 in England. The first single released was TVOD/Warm Leatherette (probably my two favorite songs ever) by The Normal which was Daniel Miller, who himself was the founder of Mute. From there Mute released records by, among others, Fad Gadget, D.A.F., Smegma, Boyd Rice, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Liasons Dangereuses, The Birthday Party, Einsturzende Neubauten and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Are you drooling yet?
This set is not for everyone. Most of the music is fairly challenging art/electronic/experimental stuff. I think all of it is catchy as hell even the noisey/avant-garde/tape loops that some of the groups work with. But that's me, I have an ear for exotic sounds. That being said there's also some classic pop on here with the Depeche Mode and Yazoo stuff. I love Depeche Mode and I think their early work from the time period of this box set is their best stuff hands down. Odds are you won't like all of the stuff on this box set (although I do!) but if you are interested in expanding your musical palette to new groups and new sounds, I definitely highly recommend this set.