One of the first bands to combine traditional instrumentation with MIDI technology, Disco Inferno created some of the most evocative music of the 1990s before promptly falling into oblivion. This reissue of their first five EPs (all initially released 1992-1994) seems to be giving them some more fully deserved attention. The combination of post-punk instrumentation, instrument-triggered samples, and politically and socially concerned lyrics make for one of the most engrossing albums to surface recently. Everything is great, especially 1, 3, 5, 9, 13. FCC WARNING 2, 6.
1. *Summer's Last Sound (5:39)—Gorgeous, dramatic ambiance and post-punk bass. At first, the acerbic lyrics about early 90s England seem to conflict sharply with the music, but by the end the pairing becomes quite moving. Fantastic.
2. Love Stepping Out (6:23)—FCC WARNING (f•••). Again a striking pairing of ambient sounds (this time acoustic guitar samples) and bitter lyrics.
3. *A Rock To Cling To (3:53)—Sampled rock music and found sounds create another driving and poignant background for the melancholy lyrics.
4. From the Devil to the Deep Blue Sky (9:40)—Instrumental. This combination of post-punk bass, chainsaw guitars, ambient sounds, and samples of shattering glass make this a great choice if you want something long form.
5. *The Last Dance (4:08)—A lovely dance song with apprehensive and angry lyrics. The final thirty seconds open up beautifully.
6. D.I. Go Pop (5:09)—FCC WARNING (s••• 3:00?). Total chaos. A swirl of sampled My Bloody Valentine guitars and assorted effects.
7. The Long Dance (5:27)—A different version of “The Last Dance.” This version sounds just as good as the other.
8. Scattered Showers (7:15)— This song generates a lot of tension but sounds seasick.
9. *Second Language (4:48)—One of the more hopeful and inviting songs on this CD. Lush, complex, and luminous.
10. The Atheist's Burden (3:57)—Another relatively optimistic, bouncy song for Disco Inferno. More lush sounds against beatboxing.
11. At The End Of The Line (4:20)— Soft, downbeat, and beautifully expansive.
12. A Little Something (2:58)—Carries the same upbeat sound as tracks 9 and 10 with a faster tempo.
13. *It's A Kid's World (4:35)—Drums ripped from Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” and an explosion of brilliant sounds alongside frustrated lyrics. Slow fadeout.
14. A Night On The Tiles (2:49)—Instrumental. Edith Piaf and lots of meowing cats. Then jazz brawl mayhem. Completely different from anything else here.
15. Lost In Fog (4:48)— Ambient piece with lyrics about viewing the earth from far away. Builds in tension over its five minutes.