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saboten-floor et satie 2lp (em records)

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saboten: floor et satie

Formed in 1981 in Tokyo, Saboten must now be considered one of the great lost post-punk bands. Rejecting the traditional rock group hierarchy of lead guitar and/or preening vocalist supported by a rhythm section, Saboten were true masters of band-as-unit, with the trio meshing and melding in a non-grandstanding manner that wonderfully emphasizes their individual contributions to the group sound. One of the original impulses that led to the formation of the group was a desire to hear the results of an electric rock combo playing Erik Satie, and the French composer's sense of whimsy and feeling of openness are well-represented. There are even a number of Satie "covers" here, but far from being pastel homage, they are imaginative reconstructions, aided by the late Lol Coxhill on several pieces. The band, despite the Satie influence, are most definitely a rock unit of the post-punk variety, masters of a tight, brittle funk and a supple sense of propulsion and interlocking instrumentation that will appeal to fans of groups like The Slits, The Raincoats and even ESG, but with a unique element that is all their own. FLOOR et SATiE is available on vinyl only, and provides an excellent overview of an excellent band. Disc one is a newly re-mastered version of their first album, Saboten, which was originally produced by the late great Eiichi Tsutaki of Totsuzen Danball and issued as the first release of Tsutaki's own label Floor Records in 1982. Disc two ranges from the charmingly lo-fi Satie pieces, to some selections from a D.I.Y. self-released 7", two songs from their second album Awake, and a piece produced by Fred Frith. Saboten means "cactus" and, like their namesake, they are spiky and yet oddly beautiful.

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