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Various - Made to Measure Vol. 1

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 23 / 8 / 2021

Various - Made to Measure Vol. 1
Label: Crammed Discs
Format: CD


Re-issue of abstract and new wave compilation from 1984.on Belgian label Crammed Discs

A record store assistant in 1984, I didn't feel the need to keep a copy of 'Made To Measure' and instead put it on a cassette. Earning a miserable 7 guilders an hour I bought those wonderful cheapos on Cherry Red and other UK imprints. Illogic had it that I worked 5½ hours to buy the latest Ramones LP, their weakest too, I hear you snigger. It was the Years of Reaganomics when CDs were taking over from LPs and we'd always have customers complaining about clicks and scratches on their Glenn Branca, Tuxedo Moon, Crammed Discs or 4AD records. Welcome the re-issue in 2021 of some of the finest pieces from that era. Occasionally my colleague played Aksak Maboul's truly excellent 'Scratch Holiday' to disorientate the fashion shoppers just before closing time. We were in-store in the basement of a fashion chain in the City's main high street. But God forbid, a couple of times people moved to our check out desk actually wanting the record. We weren't paid for arriving early and leaving late. First band on 'Made To Measure' are Minimal Compact from Tel Aviv who by 1984 had already moved to grim Amsterdam - recorded a Peel Session - and their four contributions now sound rather archaic. There are sad waltzes going off the rails like 'Immer Vorbei'. My favourite track then was Benjamin Lew's 'À La Recherche De B.' a spooky synthesizer intermezzo but Aksak Maboul's 'Scratch Holiday' is my current favourite, which is by Crammed Discs founder Marc Hollander, who is French speaking, and was a member of Aksak Maboul and The Honeymoon Killers. Not to be confused with bleeding noise punk NYC band who made Sonic Youth sound like a bunch of wetties. The love of the oriental shines through on the next six tracks by Aksak Maboul with lovely little effects like the sound of drinking from a straw. There is tantalizing piano play, reminiscent of Erik Satie and Simeon Ten Holt, and crystal clear cascades from subtle strokes on the keys on 'Retour Chez Les Futuristes'. Those Days television channels enjoyed great liberty and the three tracks by Tuxedo Moon come from the soundtrack for 'Het Veld Van Eer' directed by Bob Visser, not to be confused with 'Field of Honour' on the war in Korea. The atrocities from the Battle of Verdun during The Great War of 1914-1918 reflect on the grippingly grim 'No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition' yet Tuxedo Moon's last contribution is the naive 'Driving To Verdun' which made me ponder, how young men went into war assuming it was a boy scout adventure in honour of the King, when it was on VPRO television in the Netherlands aeons ago. The track still sounds like a peculiar ditty as the re-issue of this first volume in the 'Made To Measure' series is ambivalent. A couple of genuine gems, and at long last they sound crisp on record.

Track Listing:-
1 Bat-Yam (Remastered) by Minimal Compact
2 Too Many Of Them (Remastered) by Minimal Compact
3 Immer Vorbei (Remastered) by Minimal Compact
4 Animal Killers (Remastered) by Minimal Compact
5 A La Recherche De B. (Remastered) by Benjamin Lew
6 Scratch Holiday (Remastered) by Aksak Maboul
7 Odessa (Remastered) by Aksak Maboul
8 Chez Les Futuristes Russes (Remastered) by Aksak Maboul
9 Ossip & Lili (Remastered) by Aksak Maboul
10 Lili Danse (Remastered) by Aksak Maboul
11 Retour Chez Les Futuristes (Remastered) by Aksak Maboul
12 Mort De Velimir (Remastered) by Aksak Maboul
13 Fanfare (Remastered) by Tuxedomoon
14 No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition (Remastered) by Tuxedomoon
15 Driving To Verdun (Remastered) by Tuxedomoon

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