Friday, August 15, 2008
400 Blows - Pressure, Runaway/Breakdown
A recent visitor left some enthsiastic comments about 400 Blows, who are part of the Illuminated megamix album Heavy Duty Breaks, so I thought I'd offer up some more. 400 Blows may be best known today for "Black and White Mix Up" (a rather ridiculous remix with Mad Professor of "Groove Jumping") on Andrew Weatherall's exquisite Nine O'Clock Drop anthology of eclectic 80s dance music, but they left a pretty decent body of work beyond that. I have always thought of 400 Blows as the poor man's 23 Skidoo, following in their footsteps from dub to electro-soul and being almost but not quite as good. Which is still really good! 400 Blows' first album, If I Kissed Her I'd Have To Kill Her First, is already available on Rho-Xs (with great albums by A Certain Ratio, Rip Rig + Panic, This Heat, and more in the same post!), but I have a couple of 12-inch singles to supplement the album. The first is "Pressure" from 1984 (and the first LP), a mostly-instrumental song with a killer dub bassline presented in three versions plus the found track "Perspective 2". The second is from 1985, the electro-soul double-A-side of "Runaway" (a Rockwell cover, of all things!) with lead vocal by Cheryl Lucas, and the original "Breakdown" sung by Linda Duggan, in two versions each (remixed from the Look LP). That's eight tracks in all, packaged in a single zip file; get it here or here.