- Replete with postcard insert and pamphlet of liner notes from old friend Tony Burnham, White Savage Dance is a well-curated archival release containing rarities from Karl O'Connor's industrial projects Sandra Electronics, Public Information Film and Diversion Group. Though all five tracks were initially released on 7-inch in 2000, the three comprising side A, "Clean Air" and two iterations of "Here And Now," date back to the '80s. Representing some of the producer's earliest recorded material, they are stridently lo-fi. Their menacing reverb, drum-machine crunch, dystopian synths and bummer vocals are all rooted in first-wave DIY electronics and Neue Deutsche Welle.
The tracks found on side B, "I Understand" and "A Man Has Responsibilities," are late-'90s re-recordings of "early 'Sandra' live favourites," according to Burnham. Whether or not they're of the same vintage as the flipside is not clear (these particular versions are certainly more developed). Soaked in fuzzy echo, O'Connor snarls and screeches like any properly disillusioned miscreant. Meanwhile, a live drummer by the name of Go Go Girl bashes away with exceptional focus. In terms of marrying brute strength to metronomic propulsion, these grinders share much in common with the cyborg noise-rock Six Finger Satellite churned out around the same time.
If you're interested in techno's historical and aesthetic ties to post-punk, this package makes for essential listening and reading. However, in terms of O'Connor's artistic evolution, the most recent offerings from Sandra Electronics, a self-titled 10-inch and "Cubs! Do Your Best" 7-inch, are light years ahead of anything heard here. This is as it should be.
A1 Here & Now (German Version)
A2 Clean Air
A3 Here & Now (English Version)
B2 A Man Has Responsibilities