Saturday, 12 May 2012

Dust Up

The summer of 83 saw a new band on the Merciful Release roster, with Salvation seemingly replacing the March Violets as Eldritch's pet project once Simon Denbigh had formed the Rebirth label for his own band's future releases after their first two MR's.
The Salvation website confirms popular wisdom that through his friendship with Sallies' frontman Danny Mass, Von agreed to produce the band's first single on the MR imprint and took them off to Kenny Giles' Bridlington Studios just after recording The Reptile House EP there. Released in a white sleeve to differentiate Salvation's hippy roots from the usual black-tinged MR doom-rock, the Girlsoul EP was an indie chart hit and the A side was a regular on alternative radio at the time.
Legend has it that Mr E was paid in "speed" for his time and investment, and that is one possible explanation for the pure genius of the track lurking on the AA side of the 12" version of the Girlsoul EP. Whilst the title track (and the AA side of the 7" and second track on the A side of the 12", Evelyn) were fairly awkward, stilted pieces of sub-Sisters "North-doth-rise-again" drum machine (Dr A)-driven angst rock, "Dust Up" was a magnificent ten minute psychedelic wig-out that would presage Eldritch's interest in "techno" a decade later.
The total antithesis of the rest of Salvation's lukewarm recorded output, " Dust Up" remains one of the undiscovered highlights of Von's precocious talent, an unsurpassed mash-up of low-fi synthesised drum beats, blissed out guitars and insistent bass - if only "Gift" had sounded half as innovative as this.
Incredibly, the 12" of Girlsoul continues to trade for around ten dollars on auction sites despite the relatively small number of copies in circulation, as "Dust Up" continues to sneak beneath the otherwise very effective AE/TOM netscape radar. It still sounds ominously futuristic (in the proper sense of the word) today, but back in the summer of 1983 it was yet another (seemingly missable for the music press) sign for the cognoscenti that here was a major talent emerging, rather than just anther indie chart five-minute wonder. The message scratched on the run-out track says it all : "Salto nel vuoto" - "Leap into the Void".

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