Friday, December 01, 2006

Domino Records - Scottish Re-Issues

Good for Josef K (pictured above), they're the belle of the ball (the Scottish post-punk ball, that is). Domino Records just released Entomology, a collection of Josef K's work. I love them, have for a while, and they're suddenly getting praise and hype (justifiably) in the blogosphere. Well-read, introspective, and Scottish, what's not to like?

But Scotland played a major role in post-punk, so where's the love for the others? Thankfully Domino re-issued both Orange Juice and the Fire Engines last year.

Josef K had some great rhythm going, flirting with pop, but were never as dance-able and truly funky as Orange Juice. Josef K's label-mates, Orange Juice were plenty of fun. OJ proved that Post-Punk didn't have to be about the gloomy wasteland of life or unfulfilled desires. Just listen to that sax 'n synth combo in 'Rip it Up'. Also of note, Uncut Magazine declared The Glasgow School, as the top re-issue album in 2005.

Josef K were a sort of middle-ground in Scotland. They had rhythm, but also an edge. On the other end of the spectrum were The Fire Engines from Edinburgh. Their sound was brittle and cold. Sharp, piercing guitar and thin vocals. Forget funk and pop, this was edgy and angular. 'Get Up and Use Me' is all about twisted and shrieking vocals with alarmingly distorted strings to match. It's very similar to music found in the No-Wave movement (James Chance & the Contortions, Bush Tetras, etc.) in NYC. As a tribute to one of their greatest sonic influences, Franz Ferdinand have been doing some work with them lately, swapping covers.

Here are six (6!) tracks from the three Scottish collectives, highly recommended.

Orange Juice - Falling and Laughing [mp3] [buy]
Orange Juice - Rip it Up [mp3]
Josef K - Sorry for Laughing [mp3] [buy]
Josef K - Romance [mp3]
The Fire Engines - Get Up and Use Me [mp3] [buy]
The Fire Engines - Everything's Roses [mp3]


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