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Various Artists Album Reviews 4out of 5
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In The Beginning There Was Rhythm

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The first item to point out from this Soul Jazz compilation is its brevity; just 11 tracks represent all things post-punk, rhythmic, jazz and funk. Naturally this will leave them open to much dispute over track selection. Indeed, not many could argue that 'To Hell With Poverty' is representative of the Gang Of Four's best work but, taken as a beginner's guide to this primal movement in music, this is a very good sampling that can lead the listener into investigating further works by the featured artists. Two tracks apiece come from A Certain Ratio and 23 Skidoo; the latter's 'Coup' providing the bassline to a monster hit almost two decades later for the Chemical Brothers' 'Block Rockin' Beats'. But it's Human League's murky 'Being Boiled' that was a surprise hit, almost unfathomably so until one considers that it was the next release for the group after the ubiquitous 'Don't You Want Me'; it's hard not to smile thinking of the shocked fans expecting another electro-pop melody. Arty Throbbing Gristle supply the rarest of breeds: uneasy jazz muzak and Cabaret Voltaire provide a relatively subdued effort in the shape of 'Sluggin' Fer Jesus' compared to the uneasy listening of their early work. Amongst a collection of gems, two tracks stand out: The Pop Group's apocalyptic, Thatcher-baiting 'She Is Beyond Good And Evil' where improvised jazz workouts combine with manic vocals and dub production and This Heat's electro-throb and tape loops on the appropriately-named '24 Track Loop'. Incomplete it may be but this is a quality tribute to music that sounds just as vital today as it should have been twenty years ago.
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  Track Listing
01 A Certain Ratio - Shack Up
02 23 Skidoo - Coup
03 Gang Of Four - To Hell With Poverty
04 The Human League - Being Boiled
05 The Slits - In The Beginning, There Was Rhythm
06 This Heat - 24 Track Loop
07 Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Standout Track The Pop Group - She Is Beyond Good And Evil
09 Cabaret Voltaire - Sluggin Fer Jesus
10 23 Skidoo - Vegas El Bandito
11 A Certain Ratio - Knife Slits Water

Standout Track = Standout Track

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Also Recommended:
A Certain Ratio - The Graveyard And The Ballroom, I'd Like To See You Again, Early
Manicured Noise - Northern Stories 1978/80
Scritti Politti - Early
Slits, The - Cut
This Heat - This Heat
Throbbing Gristle - The Taste Of TG: A Beginner's Guide To The Music Of Throbbing Gristle
Various Artists - Death Disco : Songs From Under The Dance Floor 1978-1984
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