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Strut Does Factory Records—The Seminal Manchester Club-Turned-Record Label

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R.I.P. Tony Wilson. August 10 2007 marked the passing of one of the most significant personalities in the music industry—the man influenced an entire generation of artists and producers. You can read our nod to him here. Much respect.

We’re also huge fans of Strut—pretty much everything the label gives a nod to is essential.

The new Factory Records retrospective, compiled by Bill Brewster (, looks to be in line with all other releases from Strut. Brewster spotlights some of the Factory’s early dancefloor-based work across key 12" mixes and rarities, from the unmistakable productions of Martin Hannett to more unheralded backroom work by New Order's Bernard Sumner and A Certain Ratio drummer Donald Johnson, under their BeMusic and DoJo monikers. Look for it on Oct 11th.

There’s early experiments from Blurt's avant-garde mutant funk to the fertile post-Joy Division period as the label's unique, coruscating post-punk sound took shape through seminal bands like A Certain Ratio and Section 25. The album also expressly documents Factory's strong links and cross-pollination with New York's 1980s club culture, as New Order joined forces with producer Arthur Baker, fresh from his pioneering electro work with Afrika Bambaataa, and acts like Quando Quango and Sweet Sensation's Marcel King enlisted NY remixer Mark Kamins for tough-edged club treatments. Factory bands including Quando Quango would also play live at some of the city's seminal nightspots, including the Paradise Garage.

The compilation also touches on some of the wider directions explored by Factory during its early years—Durutti Column's melancholic beauty, the Latin jazz and jazz funk of Swamp Children, Kalima and Tony Henry's 52nd Street (image above) and a track from the label's only reggae single, the Dennis Bovell-produced “See Them A'Come” by X-O-Dus. This is the music that would provide the blueprint for the Manchester scene of the late '80s and Factory's heady later years—the Happy Mondays, James, Northside and the rest.

The package comes complete with rare artist photos alongside original label artwork by Peter Saville.

CD #1

  1. Section 25 “Looking From A Hilltop” (Megamix)

  2. A Certain Ratio “Wild Party”

  3. Quando Quango “Love Tempo”

  4. 52nd Street “Express”

  5. Swamp Children “Little Voices”

  6. Biting Tongues “Boss Toyota Trouble”

  7. The Durutti Column “For Belgian Friends” (Valuable Passages version)

  8. Royal Family & The Poor “Art On 45”

  9. A Certain Ratio “Knife Slits Water” (12-inch version)

  10. Section 25 “Dirty Disco”

  11. Blurt “Puppeteer”

  12. X-O-Dus “See Them-A-Come”

CD #2

  1. New Order “Confusion” (Original 12" mix)

  2. Shark Vegas “Pretenders Of Love”

  3. 52nd Street “Cool As Ice” (Jellybean Mix)

  4. Streetlife “Act On Instinct” (Hot Swedish Mix)

  5. The Hood “Salvation!” (Nitromix)

  6. Abecedarians “Smiling Monarchs”

  7. Quando Quango “Atom Rock” (Mark Kamins Mix)

  8. Marcel King “Reach For Love” (New York Remix)

  9. 52nd Street “Look Into My Eyes”

  10. Quando Quango “Genius”

  11. Swamp Children “You've Got Me Beat”

  12. The Durutti Column “Madeleine”

Digital Only Bonus Tracks

  1. Minny Pops “Time”

  2. Kalima “Black Water”

  3. Royal Family & The Poor “Motherland”

Joy Division BBC Factory Records Part 1

Joy Division BBC Factory Records Part 2

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