1980’s French post punk, industrial, minimal movement collective known for circulating cassette only releases gets the reissue treatment lovingly curated by turntablist/producer/DJ Cut Chemist.
In 2004 while on tour/record digging in Milan, Italy, Jurassic 5 founder and DJ Cut Chemist picked up a compilation featuring a group named Vox Populi!, whose track “Megamix” caught his attention. As familiar as he was with early hip hop releases that pioneered the megamix (The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash, Double Dee & Steinski’s “Lessons” series, for example), this was clearly coming from a different set of cultural reference points. Originally released in the 80s, the track was not rooted in disco, hip hop & DJ history but rather post punk and industrial influences. The rudimentary “scratching” present on the song was abrasive, and probably executed with a reel-to-reel tape machine rather than a turntable. And its intended effect was not to bridge two songs or breaks, but to jar the listener out of what was otherwise a seamless club track experience.
Music Concrete is what the collective (Vox, Pacific 231, H.N.A.S., X Ray Pop, others) would have perhaps described their approach at the time. “Wild Style on dust” was how Cut’s collaborator Tom Fitzgerald described it on hearing it 20 years later.
Finding this record ultimately led to Cut Chemist tracking down the group, bonding over shared aesthetics and getting their blessing for this collection, which includes unreleased tracks, photographs and little-seen flyers and art from the group. Their original output was primarily on cassette with the occasional vinyl LP/EP on their own Vox Man Records imprint, or on other equally limited-release minded independent labels.
Limited run of CD and LP include extensive insert liner notes, first pressing of LP comes with 7″ containing previously unreleased tracks by Vox Populi! and Pacific 231.