Though critically successful, Section 25’s first two albums were commercial failures; criminally overlooked seminal sound collages that bent indie rock into elements of what, today, sounds like early industrial psych.
Crucially, Bernard Sumner produced the group’s third album, honing Section 25’s developing electronic sound with some New Order nous. The Process gently opens the album like an electronic overture, before kicking into the pivotal From A Hilltop. Now something of an electronica yardstick, the latter found success in a parallel life, as hip-hop and early techno circles embraced it on both sides of the Atlantic. Desert was an equally prescient recording, combining ambient synths and piano beneath Jenny Cassidy’s tentative vocals, which signposted Cocteau Twins’ more mature sound. Inspiration, on the other hand, is almost Kraftwerkian in its clarity snap and purpose – albeit with a pre- Ecstacy dance throb.
Spread over two LPs, From The Hip has been cut to perfection, sounding as fresh and relevant as it was upon its original 1984 release. Along with The Wake and New Order, this is Factory at its electronic peak.