gullbuy music review

Cool As Ice

title:: various artists
label:: LTM
format:: CD

Cool As Ice CD coverThis compilation comprises the dancier side of the BE MUSIC productions circa 1983-1985.

But first, a little history: BE MUSIC was the moniker members of New Order and Donald Johnson of A Certain Ratio used when they produced another band's music.

Things truly got started after the release of the BLUE MONDAY 12inch in March of 1983, which constitutes the beginning of this period of intense production. Any memories you have of that track will put you in the right frame of mind for this compilation. During that intense two year period many of the tracks on this disc were released as 12inch singles.

Finally, for the first time, nearly all these acts are available in one place. These tracks conjure up a time when emerging technology was toyed with to create classic dance floor tracks. These musicians from Northern England were especially aware of the New York No Wave scene. As a result of this, more often than not, the songs they produced actually fared better in the dance clubs in New York City than Europe.

Another factor as to the slow acceptance of these tracks may simply be that they were too far ahead of their time. The warmth and energy in these songs is the consistent product of Factory Records obsession with detail and progress.

There are too many personal favorites on this disc, so I will just highlight a few. Both tracks from Manchester's soul mavericks 52nd STREET, Can't Afford to Let You Go and Cool as Ice are superb examples of electro-funk.

This vibe also permeates QUANDO QUANGO's Love Tempo and Atom Rock. Factory standards, SECTION 25 with the megamix of Looking From a Hilltop, and an extremely early electro track Beating Heart.

These tracks effectively mark the transition from their early days of spare psychedelia to full on electro dance tracks with SECTION 25's album From The Hip.

One last absolute masterpiece on this disc is MARCEL KING's Reach For Love-- it is a stand out track on a disc of classics.

Again, Factory Records was ahead of its time.

---George Kilgoar III