Bay Area Retrograde (BART) Vol. 2 by Various

The BART is the rail transport system which connects San Francisco's Bay Area, and so it should come as no surprise that this is a compilation of music from that area around the late '70s and early '80s. With contributions from the likes of Factrix, Chrome and Tuxedomoon as well as lesser known artists from the scene, this compilation records the strange motorik mixture of krautrock, synthpop and no-wave that was spreading across the bay like a rash.

Vinyl LP £18.99 DE075LP

LP on Dark Entries in fold-out poster sleeve + print. Inc. Factrix, Chrome, Tuxedomoon etc.

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Bay Area Retrograde (BART) Vol. 2 by Various
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10/10 Brian 06 November 2014

Second total bang-on treat for little Brian this week. I don't know why I love weird late 70's/early 80's music so much, possibly because I grew up listening to so much turgid shit on the UK radio whilst this wonderful, deviant insanity was happening in a far off galaxy. Both Europe and America threw up so much fantastic dirty robot pop and alien synth rock detachment in this period it's seemingly the deep moist music mine that keeps on giving and never got shut down by some awful fascist swine. Yeah.

There's possibly one of Chrome's most electrifyingly enjoyable moments on here in 'Meet You In The Subway', an outtake from around the time of their classic 'Half Machine Lip Moves'. It makes me feel like I should own everything they did it's that intense and futuristic, not too abrasive and sleazy like much of their earlier stuff. A delirious electroid anthem you'll wanna amaze all the creeps and geeks at your local bat-cave with. Total Control owe some plaudits. There's a Tuxedomoon track on here, not one of their very best but getting there. One of the most idiosyncratic crews from the era, they fit this finely manicured groping hand of a collection like a greased glove.

I could bore everyone to death here with factoids nicked from every blog and website under the sun. I'll be honest and state I've only ever listened to/heard four artists here out of the eleven featured. 'Bay Area Retrograde (BART) Volume 2' is pure electro rock sleaze gold, fuck the straights, weird sexy android music with fantastic tunes forged from burning hotwired rubber and wide-eyed circuit bent intent. It makes you think why did I ever bother buying records by such fakers as Cold Cave when there were people such as Ki Doi Me around back in t' day to totally petrify anyone with a child of sneaking out age.

This record won't make me that popular with my new housemates. They'll think I'm off my trolley. It's like a dream compilation I think my head has invented. It's not real. There's songs on here like JSBX shagging Roxy Music's poodle at James Chance's hairdressers whilst reading a Magazine. How Indoor Life aren't internationally lauded as musical visionaries I don't know. There's a bit of cheese on here like Timmy Spence but it's of the kind you happily want to carry around in your pocket to parties despite people whispering the name "Whiffy Steve" at you behind your back. I adore the super obscure Baby Buddha track, it's a total gem with trippy multi-tracked M/F vocals, an insistent rhythm and gurgling eerie synths. Absolutely wonderful times to be had on the dancefloor of your mind. Zro Rogue finish off the party with a lovely piece of wonky chiming new wave that sounds like it could have fallen out of a certain New Zealand scene. I can hear early Teardrop Explodes/Zoo Records and Red Krayola in there too, weirdly. The most "indie" track here, it is also the perfect closer to proceedings.

To say there's not a duffer on here is remarkable as this is Volume 2. I really, really NEED Volume one. Right now. My compilation of the year and as there's been some excellent ones already that is saying a hell of a lot.


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