Post-punk has become a buzzword in electronic music, a genre almost every DJ and producer now dabbles with – apparently. It makes sense: the post-punk milieu were an essential influence on the pioneers of house and techno in Detroit, Chicago, and New York, an essential influence often ignored in favour of the rather simplistic equation of Kraftwerk + disco = dance music. From sci-fi obsessed kids in Sheffield to New York’s No Wave scene, it’s almost impossible to separate the many seeds sowed by punk from the electronic music we know today.
Less attention has been afforded has to the guitar music that came just after post-punk, or emerged alongside it while drawing from a slightly different set of influences. Bands that were as inspired by the Byrds and Syd Barrett as they were the Buzzcocks and the Banshees. Bands with a knack for hooks and harmonies that could have landed them on Top of the Pops week after week were they not so shambolic musically, so literary lyrically. While ‘indie’ may be a dirty word today, especially when suffixed with ‘-pop’, the DIY groups that laid the groundwork for the genre we may scorn today produced some of the most gorgeous music of the late ’70s and early ’80s.
It’s in this vein that the Ransom Note’s Outer Reaches sub-label launches, headed by Tim Wilson who has covered music of the esoteric and experimental variety for the parent site for a number of years, and who better to rope in on remix duties than Optimo’s JD Twitch, whose lifelong love of DIY and post-punk has been well documented. In Twitch’s hands, Garage Class‘ ‘I Got Standards’ becomes a geezin’ techno tool that would sound perfectly placed in the Powell / Silent Servant B2B set you’ve always dreamt about. Tim Shutt AKA the Subliminal Kid’s vocals become a vicious snarl, and the guitar lick sounds even dirtier against a beefed-up, syncopated beat, almost like the Skatt Brothers’ ‘Walk The Night’ reimagined by Northern polytechnic kids.
Terminal Tokyo is out September 21st on Outer Reaches – pre-order direct from the label.