We speak to the UK artist about the second instalment of new wave, EBM and industrial gems, due out in August on Strut.
The two-disc selection pulls together more of Jackson's favourite EBM, industrial and new wave cuts. Whereas the popular first edition focused on the years 1980 through '88, this volume homes in on '79 to '88. Metal Dance 2 took "well over a year" to compile according to Jackson, and features tracks from the UK, Europe, Japan and the Middle East, with Chris & Cosey, Front 242, Liaisons Dangereuses and Skinny Puppy among the acts included.
"I've tried to find a good balance of anthem and obscurities, labels, artists and producers that each play a part in the early development of electronic dance music," Jackson told RA. "It's perhaps darker in places but the intentions are the same—to remind the older listener of tracks they loved or might've forgotten, and hopefully educate and entertain younger ones."
Jackson himself has edited one of the tracks that appears on the compilation (Rusty Egans' "The Twilight Zone"), while Rabih Beaini, AKA Morphosis, has tweaked Rene Bandaly Family's "Tanki Tanki." Metal Dance 2 will be available in August digitally, on vinyl and CD, with all formats unmixed. We caught up with Jackson via email to find out how the compilation came together:
How long did it take you to compile this second selection?Tracklist
Well over a year. The first one was 75 percent a tracklisting from a personal mixtape I did back in the late 80's—this one was much harder to put together, mainly due to the difficulty of licensing tracks from major labels. Many previously independent labels' catalogues are now owned by majors and it's not only lengthy but also prohibitively expensive to use some of the things I would have loved to. There are so many artists that are incredibly important to me and equally as important to the story I'm trying to tell, but it was impossible to include them. I've tried to find a good balance of anthem and obscurities, labels, artists and producers that each play a part in the early development of electronic dance music.
How does the sound of this instalment differ to the first one?
It's perhaps darker in places but the intentions are the same—to remind the older listener of tracks they loved or might of forgotten, and hopefully educate and entertain younger ones. I wanted to push it sonically as far possible but still keep it accessible and listenable. It's also far more international with tracks from Europe, Japan and the Middle East. Hopefully it has a more diverse overall sound. Last time I was concerned that there were too many obvious tracks, but I received so much positive feedback from people that had never heard half the things I was considering not featuring, I realised I shouldn't bother about it—there are enough people out there putting out great compilations full of totally obscure and undiscovered tracks. That isn't what I'm trying to do; I used to play and dance to sets as full of dubs of pop records as much as extreme more underground releases. This is what excites me most musically.
Is there one particularly special hidden gem/personal favourite on here you'd like to draw attention to?
So many! CHBB's very early incarnation of Liaisons Dangereuses and DAF, Vice Versa who went on to become ABC, Rabih Beaini's edit of Rene Bandalay, Visage's "Der Amboss" instrumental and perhaps my favourite Godley & Creme's "Babies." For me, Godley & Creme are one of the world's least respected pioneers and innovators, both visually and musically. They did things that pushed the boundaries on so many levels. I'd urge anyone with the slightest interest in early electronic music and production to check out some of their solo albums—there are so many tracks that blow away things many of us cite as seminal. To have them on this compilation is an honour.
01. Tuxedomoon - 59 To 1
02. Logic System - Unit
03. Psyche - The Saint Became A Lush
04. Skinny Puppy - Deadlines (400 Blows Remix)
05. Propaganda - (The Echo Of) Frozen Faces
06. Visage - Der Amboss (Instrumental)
07. Rusty Egan - The Twilight Zone (Trevor Jackson Edit)
08. Material - Secret Life
09. Rene Bandaly Family - Tanki Tanki (Rabih Beaini Edit)
10. Experimental Products - Work That Beat
11. Crash Course In Science - Jump Over Barrels
12. Liaisons Dangereuses - Etre Assis Ou Danset
13. Esplendor Geometrico - Necrosis En La Poya
01. Ministry - Over The Shoulder (12-inch Version)
02. Test Dept - The Unacceptable Face Of Freedom: Face 3
03. Mile High Club - Walking Backwards
04. CHBB - Ima Iki-Mashoo
05. Front 242 - Body 2 Body (2trax)
06. Vice Versa - Riot Squad
07. Chris & Cosey - Driving Blind
08. Doris Norton - Personal Computer
09. Plus Instruments - Vom Ertrunkenen Mädchen
10. Conrad Schnitzler - Das Tier
11. Neon - Lobotomy
12. Arthur Brown And Craig Leon - The Conversation
13. Haruomi Hosono - Platonic
14. Godley & Creme - Babies
Strut will release Metal Dance 2 on August 19th, 2013.