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coverpic flag Belgium - Full Moon 184 - 09/12/11

Subject and Human Dance
The (Almost) Insanely Happy EP
EE Tapes

Yet another release from EE Tapes with music involving Alain Neffe of the Insane label, recorded in the 1980s. It's a thick seven inch EP running at about 33,3 rpm., the fourth of its kind by the tapes-label, with three songs by each band; half of them previously unreleased. Apart from Alain (keyboards, flute), Daniel Malempré (excellent guitarist of Human Flesh, M.A.L., Bene Gesserit help-out etc.) is present on five of the six tracks. If you're into tunes dominated by 1980s flavoured rhythm-box and keyboards somewhat of the underground kind, look no further. But it's more than just that.

Subject starts the show with the instrumental "Shitting On Top Of The World". Melodic, catchy, danceable, even a bit disco-flavoured guitar in there! Very funny, nice, happy and melodic apart from a short electronic desert storm middle part. "Monotone" by the same band/project is not that monotonous as might be expected despite the short repetitive bass riff by Daniel. The half-industrial Casio organ keep this track on track, somewhat gliding in thin air. "The Desert Call (Short Version)" by Human Dance is also danceable, I suspect, female French sounding singer and spoken words (or is it Arabic or what?). Fascinating... The second song of the EP is the closing "L'Ultima Storia" by Subject. Even more ethnic flavoured than the former, in a nice pop'ish way, not far from some desert, I'd guess. Doesn't seem particularly happy, but the most spine-chilling of the lot.

Let's move to the homage section of the platter. "Jethro, C'Est Trop!!" by Human Dance has flute all over it. A quite poppy and (almost) insanely happy instrumental nod towards Jethro Tull, despite the rhythm-box and synthesized sounds. "Magikal Hystery Sour (The Beatles Were Not So Bad After All!!)", also by Human Dance, seems more guitar based than the others of the EP. Still, the happy-melancholic organ dominates. Sounds a bit like one of the most sane and pop-oriented songs by Bene Gesserit and seems to have little to do with the Beatles' song (or album, or TV movie) of almost the same name, except some psychedelic backwards effects towards the end.

This EP doesn't seem neither quite as insane nor as happy as the title suggests. It you'd like a - to some extent - light-weight introduction to the musical universe of Alain Neffe and co. this is it. I've seldom heard a compilation of Insane artists as pop oriented, hummable and even danceable. At the same time it's without any doubt part of the experimental 1980s underground. Hard to pick any favourites here. All six tracks are well worth looking into, though I have a weak spot for "Magikal Hystery Sour" that was also represented on the easy side of an Insane LP that I distributed some copies of in Norway twentysomething years ago. Time's passing by, but the music of the Insane label seem to be released at least as frequent nowadays as back in the 80s. A proof that the quality and appeal still is there. Only 250 copies available of this platter. So hurry!

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