Various artists - Change The Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1979-1987
Crate diggers and students of electro music will welcome this 2-CD set drawn from the vaults of Parisian label Celluloid Records. Very much the baby of label manager Jean Karakos, Celluloid especially championed the emerging New York hip-hop and electro scenes, with smatterings of post-punk, jazz and world musics filling out the catalogue. Translation? A lot of this material doesn't make for easy listening (the full on jazz punk stylings of Massacre are an early indication of how things are going to go) but it's rarely less-than-interesting and often amusingly so. Behind the trenchcoats and cigarette smoke, the avant-garde could be wickedly funny.
If you need some familiar names to draw you in, Ginger Baker delivers some laid back, Cajun-inspired instrumental rock, while Futura 2000's self-referencing 'The Escapades of Futura 2000' features a cameo from The Clash. Behind those names however, Lightnin' Rod's 'Sport' is a superfly platter of cool funk and Grandmaster D.St struts some mean mid 80s street rap, rightly reclaiming the genre for the people of the Bronx. For a highlight though, it's hard to pass by the full 12" mix of Timezone (aka Afrika Bambaataa and John Lydon) and their still relevant declaration of Cold War paranoia 'World Destruction' - "We are Timezone, we've come to drop a bomb on you!"