If you harbour a profound nostalgia for the excitingly off-kilter, experimentalist fare that represented the twisted backbone of John Peel’s radio programmes circa 1978/79, form a disorderly queue here. This collection of 18 tracks from the curdled cream of Spain’s early 80s counterculture reveals that enlightened Spanish musicians embraced noisenik nihilism with a revolutionary fervour easily the equal of anything UK industrialists or US No Wavers could produce.
Granted, the influence of both scenes, particularly the former, is writ large. The early Cabaret Voltaire clearly informs both La Marca De Anubis by Los Iniciados and ¡Baila, Negro! by La Caída De La Casa Usher – deep-subconscious electronica with a rudimentary, pattering drum machine. Then there are peculiar hybrids such as The Past Is Frozen by Klamm – braying synth-prog-jazz-funk with new romantic vocals, like The Pop Group crossed with The National Health.
The best stuff here is the most unhinged: He by Mar Otra Vez, with a transfigured, mid-exorcism vocal thick with sputum and shrieks; Dodo by Depósito Dental and Paso Hambre by Neo Zelanda (the sort of Residents-derived phantasms Aphex Twin would later perpetrate). Meanwhile, Viejo Decorado Eléctrico 4 by Xeerox is like hearing the Velvets rehearsing European Son from the basement of the haunted house next door.