Bustin' Out 1984: New Wave To New Beat Volume 4


Veteran DJ Mike Maguire's spectacular series chronicling the seismic developments in electronic-based music reaches 1984 on its fourth volume, another stellar collection packed with musical milestones. It's often widely assumed that 1984 was something of a calm-before-the-storm doldrums period in music as acid house loomed on the horizon. Synthesized music was indeed progressing wildly, hurried along by developments such as hip-hop now trading session bands for drum machines and proto-samplers, while electro-derived beats underpinned the late '70s disco form to create a dancefloor mutant called boogie. Upgrading electronic tools were affording pioneers and industrial movements new methods to venture into back alleys and darker corners, where sex, anger or psychotic imbalance funnelled through the wide open circuits. Out of the sheer volume of material, Mike has deftly woven an exotic snapshot blend of 1984's titanic deluge, focusing predominantly on the maverick darker side with trailblazing outings such as the Flowerpot Men's coruscating "Jo's So Mean To Josephine," Cabaret Voltaire's future-disco masterwork "Sensoria," Factory band Section 25's enigmatic classic "Looking From A Hilltop," Youth and Ben Watkins' cinematic Empty Quarter project and former Yello synth-wizard Carlos Peron with one of his early solo outings. 1984 was also a revolutionary year for the U.S. dance music underground, represented here by Strafe's epochal party-starting percolator "Set It Off" and Jesse Saunders' "On And On," often credited with being the first manifestation of Chicago's upcoming house music explosion. As with previous volumes, Mike continues to chart the progress of the industrial movement, itself enjoying a pivotal year when Front 242 launched their electronic body music movement with tracks such as the epic "Commando Mix" from their No Comment album. The set also features harsh, sonically-innovative missives from Australia's Severed Heads and Canada's Skinny Puppy. One feature of the series being maintained is the reappearance of important, even under-rated, artists from previous sets, including Anne Clark's "Our Darkness," Adrian Sherwood and the mighty Dub Syndicate with "The Show Is Coming." There was revolution crackling in the air in 1984 and Mike Maguire has again done an inimitable job of bottling it. Extensive sleeve notes written by legendary journalist Kris Needs.