Various Anti NY

This historic collection of early '80s no wave tracks from NYC contains the single best liner note ever: "There was no chance to find out who owns the rights to this track... If you wrote it, let us know." Talk about underground! The song in question is the incredibly infectious new wave funk of "If I Gave You A Party," by Sexual Harrassment (sic), originally released in 1983. The tracks on this compilation, put together by the German Gomma label, revolve around NYC's Mudd Club scene during an intense era of genre busting and experimentation, fusing together punk, funk, dub, rap, eletro, reggae and jazz. Here we find early work from Coldcut and Massive Attack collaborator Vivien Goldman with "Launderette," a track produced by PIL's John Lydon and Keith Levene, featuring Aswad bassist George Levi booming out a monster groove. The serious exclusive in this collection is the only recorded music by visual artist Jean-Micheal Basquiat's band Gray - a purely experimental sonic exercise. Also included is the percussive and funky disco of Konk, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch's seriously off kilter Del Byzanteens, first generation graffiti artist and old school rapper Rammellzee, with the adventurous Death Comet Crew, and dark electronic beats from the band Ike Yard, who were the first U.S. signing to the seminal Factory label. However, Anti NY is more than a brilliant historic artefact, with five new versions created from the early '80s source material. Paul Mogg, of the Psychonauts, adds melody and steady beats to Gray's "Drum Mode," converting from its difficult listening beginnings into a very easy spin, while Munk wisely rides George Levi's bass line to head nodding dub bliss for the revision of "Launderette." "If I Gave You A Party" is completely re-recorded by members of the Poets of Rhythm and Beanfield, pumping up the funk a few notches, whereas Protein electro-fry Rammellzee and Ike Yard is converted into a samplified funk number by Funkstorung. The original material was so forward thinking, the 2001 redux can only try to keep up. (Gomma)