Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Various Artists: First Cut: The Oxford Sound LP

Despite the fact that the cover image of this record makes it look like a compilation of bad 70s yacht rock, this is a record that has quite a few gems. The music is primarily synthpop and new wave. All bands were based in Oxford in the early 80s. Most of the bands are average to decent, but there are two standouts in my opinion: the excellent dancey Gang of Four-inspired new wave of the band Ears to the Ground (especially the song "Wash My Sins Away). Minimal synth fans will find both songs by Steve Zucker to be great - "Moving to Midnight" combines simple, pulsing synths with layers of ethereal female vocals, and "Walk Walk Away" is a melancholy underground analog synth classic with a crazy noisy synth freakout at the end. Yowza!

Various Artists: First Cut - The Oxford Sound
1983 Waterfront Records
1. Colour Me Pop: The Girl Who Shares My Shirts
2. Animal Grace: Truth
3. Ears to the Ground: Another Lonely Night With You
4. Love Attack: Open Up
5. Pressure: Leaving
6. Steve Zucker: Moving to Midnight
7. Animal Grace: She Cuts Me Up
8. Colour Me Pop: Lines
9. Love Attack: Love Attack
10. Pressure: Lifelike
11. Ears to the Ground: Wash My Sins Away
12. Steve Zucker: Walk, Walk Away

Click here to download the album!


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with you, those are the gems! And they are true gems. Yes, and the rest ... well. But somehow I like the very first song with that "Living On The Ceiling"-like synth riff (is that a Casio sitar sound or what?). Thanks for sharing this album and your opinion, otherwise one might have overlooked the good tracks!

Anonymous said...

Memory lane - i drummed on four of the tracks - ears and colour me pop - havent heard them for at least twenty years..... thank you for posting the download......
Ian Greatorex

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andy said...

True gems, I agree.

how come that the Replay Gain clocks in at about +10 dB over normal level?
I presume this is a re-release, not the original vinyl rip.
Or the input peak was way too high when recording so the recordings got "brickwalled". Too bad for this great music.