Various The Fruit of The Original Sin: A Collection Of After Hours Preoccupations

By the time The Fruit of the Original Sin was released in 1981, the late ’70s explosion of underground music and spoken word in London and New York was peaking. Brussels, Belgium also had a thriving lit-punk scene, documented on this excellent two-disc reissue. Spread across 30 remastered tracks, these discs tells the story of promoters Annik Honore and Michel Duval, who booked edgy new/no wave and post-punk bands into Brussels’ hippest gallery/performance space, Plan K. Joy Division, A Certain Ratio and Durutti Column were amongst the bands. The duo equally hyped Belgian bands such as the ESG-influenced Marine and the Cure-sounding 323, and both are here. Honore and Duval also started-up indie label Les Disques du Crepuscule, releasing several compilations of music, the strongest entry being The Fruit of the Original Sin. They also infused the album with a multi-media vibe, adding performance poets (ex-Skids vocalist Richard Jobson contributes two spoken word cuts), author readings, an interview with Marguerite Duras, and experimental classical composers to the album’s post-punk flavour. There’s a sprawling amount of material. Good starting points are Durutti Column’s working class art-pop ("Party”) and the dub-drenched punk funk of Swamp Children’s "Flesh.” But nothing beats William S. Burrough’s reading of his satirical sci-fi story Twilight’s Last Gleaming, where the cagey author’s hilarious delivery borders on performance art. The Fruit of the Original Sin is a stellar reissue capturing an obscure scene at a defining moment in modern music. (LTM)