Strut present an essential new retrospective of Factory Records, the seminal Manchester club-turned-record label set up by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus.
Compiled by Bill Brewster of djhistory.com, the album places the spotlight on some of the label’s early dancefloor-based work across key 12” mixes and rarities, from the unmistakeable productions of Martin Hannett to more unheralded backroom work by New Order’s Bernard Sumner and A Certain Ratio drummer Donald Johnson, under their BeMusic and DoJo monikers.
The album traces early experiments from Blurt’s avant garde mutant funk to the fertile post-Joy Division period as the label’s unique, coruscating post-punk sound took shape through seminal bands like A Certain Ratio and Section 25. The album also expressly documents Factory’s strong links and cross-pollination with New York’s 1980s club culture, as New Order joined forces with producer Arthur Baker, fresh from his pioneering electro work with Afrika Bambaataa, and acts like Quando Quango and Sweet Sensation’s Marcel King enlisted NY remixer Mark Kamins for tough-edged club treatments. Factory bands including Quando Quango would also play live at some of the city’s seminal nightspots, including the Paradise Garage.
The compilation also touches on some of the wider directions explored by Factory during its early years – Durutti Column’s melancholic beauty, the latin jazz and jazz funk of Swamp Children, Kalima and Tony Henry’s 52nd Street and a track from the label’s only reggae single, the Dennis Bovell-produced ‘See Them A’Come’ by X-O-Dus. This is the music that would provide the blueprint for the Manchester scene of the late ‘80s and Factory’s heady later years – the Happy Mondays, James, Northside and the rest.
FAC. DANCE is compiled and annotated by Bill Brewster of djhistory.com and features rare artist photos alongside original label artwork by Peter Saville. The album is produced in association with James Nice at LTM Records
You can pre-order the full MP3 album on iTunes