23 Skidoo Seven Songs / Urban Gamelan / Just Like Everybody

Continuing their tradition of presenting "forgotten" bands for reassessment, LTM Recordings has selected London's 23 Skidoo for their latest batch of reissues. They were a band that never fitted too comfortably in with peers such as Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, although they've turned out to be rather influential down the line. Praised in Simon Reynold's influential book Rip It Up & Start Again, the band's debut album, Seven Songs, is still an impressive piece of work. Even after 25 years, it sounds fresher than it should, with its surprisingly aggressive take on funk. 1984's Urban Gamelan found the band fully immersed in a fusion of funk and African music, flirting with the commercial success that had otherwise eluded them. It didn't quite arrive, although the Chemical Brothers did borrow heavily from "Coup" for their own "Block Rockin' Beats." As an album, however, it's almost surpassed by the bonus tracks. Double disc compilation Here Comes Everybody collects together the majority of the good stuff from the early days with how the band spent their '90s. It provides the best starting point to 23 Skidoo, although they never did improve upon the intense consistency of their 1982 debut. (LTM)