they make no say – fortyfives on cd

To sexy for ghost box, to oblique for weird and to melodic for radiophonic workshop. Tinkering for twenty years with such revered labels as Earworm, Enraptured, Great Pop Supplement and Deep Distance, there’s always been this feeling that head honcho Dom Martin has secretly been on a mission to oversee an imprint that could both embrace the elements of being considered not only an art form but also a way of life tapping into a certain mind set to provide a trusted brand. With each new passing label, these objectives have been achieved, yet what has, you suspect, always gnawed has been that final piece in the puzzle of incorporating his first loves – Kraftwerk and Tubeway Army – into the grand scheme of things and hitherto revisiting, reliving and ultimately establishing a brand uniquely grooved in the silver age of electronic sound. Founded in 2014, Polytechnic Youth is a curio of delights, a dusty sound lab of monochrome melodic relics crafted on wonky sounding analogue flea markets exhibits, a collective pantry housing lines upon lines of primitive sound blueprints that open portals to future generic mutations a la dance, techno, house et al by way of an adoption of all things cold war pop, death disco and minimalist electro. releases are often dropped into the ‘market’ on a face book word of mouth listing, most releases to date coming pressed up on ridiculously low numbered lathe cut editions that command inflation busting values on internet auction sites, it’s this select and small community of the faithful that the label has promised to cater for on a regular basis, in between that is, the occasional bulk pressing of albums which have often been known to number the heady 300 mark. ‘they make no see – forty fives on CD’ – is a joint venture with the emotional response label, the CD version being the American variant as opposed to its UK vinyl sibling ’45 on 33’, a kind of story so far compilation gathering 9 such long since out of print tracks from their small yet alarmingly essential back catalogue including the label’s curtain raising 20 copies only debut from Volume Groop – of which prized for posterity both sides feature here, both proving to be kosmiche raptures cooled and schooled in the Wendy Carlos /  Silver Apples / Louis and Bebe Barron sound lab of gloopy star lit lullabies – see ‘movement’ or better still the playfully bowed baubles and wonky tomorrow dreaming vintage of ‘stillness’ which if anything, ought to appeal to admirers of Raymond Scott. Also shoehorned into these essential grooves, the enviable roll call features a plethora of well-heeled lost relics from the labels distant past, that include a previously unreleased treat from Detox Twins along with two PY interludes that classically book mark the vinyl side starting excursions into a futuristic tomorrow viewed as were from a forgotten yesterday. It’s here that you’ll swoon to the uber cooled suave continental chic of Groupuscule’s much sought after platter – PY4 if you are taking notes – ‘imagine – c’est la guerre’ proving as ever to be an ear candy favourite arriving spared in Dadaist disco demurs the type of which imagine Agents Aren’t Aeroplanes being fronted by a certain Ms Sadier while flip side, the arresting ‘je suis marxiste’, is a lilting lunar lovely finding a mid-career and at the height of their collective powers Stereolab doing rather sultrily and fetching Barbarella mosaics. Somewhere else day dreamed in yearning orbital opines all fondly graced in sepia haloes of vintage seaside promenade organs, a kind of sand castle building FortDax on gaseous beach heads of Saturn are the Home Current with the bliss bowed balletic Balearic beauty ‘Wix’. Those fancying their chosen listening poison etched in the kind of minimalist romo grooving briefly prevalent in the mid 90’s might do well to wrap up for a chill pill chic dashing of Detox Twins whose decadent death disco grooving on ‘Einhorn Suicide’ has something of a classic era SPK about its wares while later along the schedule a specially incorporated unreleased cut entitled ‘paradox’ is, unless our ears truly have gone off on a wander, the sound of a John Foxx era Ultravox retuned in the image of Minty by Miss Kitten with oodles of DAF thrown in for good measure. Dwelled and drooled in dystopian aural texturing Xyzips craft the kind of minimalist eeriness more commonly associated with a youthful variant of truth about frank both no doubt familiarly attuned to the primitive technoid tuneage of an early career Cabaret Voltaire as ‘Cosey and Warm’ proves irrefutable evidence of. We must admit to having an adoring soft spot for Mass Defect whose sparsely calibrated lunar lullabies twinkle with a hope hued wonder of an age to come not to mention, as does ‘magnetic melodie’ testify to, a slight passing hint of awe for a ‘scene 30’ era Echoboy and space age super group ‘Fly’. Blank generation oblivion comes to pass on the shadow forming ‘Space Sorry’ by Middex amid whose bleakly trimmed dada circuitry, elements of Map 71 and Rooney exchange cooly cold love notes to the sound of the Normal with additional sonic choreography by Fad Gadget. Latest outing by the Polytech-ers is the superb second outing from Freqdesign – sadly by all accounts sold out on pre-orders alone – not to worry for here’s their first – ‘Rachel don’t dance’ – a hollowed proto house ghost light that imagines a lost and slightly bemused Laurie Anderson lost amid the forbidden zones of Tubeway Army’s ‘replicas’ dystopian future world. Class in short.

They Make No Say: A Polytechnic Youth Singles Collection by Various.  Vinyl LP, CD.

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