Monday, 11 July 2022

Disco Inferno - The Past Looks Dead



Disco Inferno formed in Essex, UK in 1989 by Ian Crause (guitar & vocals), Paul Wilmott (bass), Rob Whatley (drums) and Daniel Gish (keyboards).

After the departure of Gish (who would later join Bark Psychosis) the now three-piece Disco Inferno recorded the single "Entertainment", closely followed by their first album, "Open Doors, Closed Windows", in 1991 on the Che label. The album received positive reviews, although most mentioned the heavy influence of late 1970s post punk bands, particularly Joy Division and Wire (In fact Disco Inferno's manager, Michael Collins, had previously managed Wire during their 70's incarnation). "Entertainment", "Open Doors, Closed Windows" and the following EP "Science" would later be collected on the album "In Debt".

In 1992 the band released "Summer's Last Sound", widely regarded as the first in a run of classic Disco Inferno EPs which saw the band's increasing use of samples. The band's use of sampling combined with traditional instruments - particularly Wilmott's bass - continued on the EPs "A Rock to Cling To" and "The Last Dance" and reached its peak on their second album, "D.I. Go Pop". After the full-on assault of "D.I. Go Pop" the band opted for restraint on the beautiful "Second Language" EP which also had a new-found optimism in Crause's lyrics.

Their final EP, "It's a Kid's World'", sampled the distinctive drumbeat from Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" and added in a series of old children's TV themes to good effect, but despite critical acclaim the band attracted little commercial success and split before their final album "Technicolour" was released in 1996.

This is a band which took me several years to finally get into. I'd heard the odd song by them but never felt the urge to pursue their releases any further. About 15 years ago, I listened for the first time their acclaimed 2nd album "D.I. Go Pop" but found it rather difficult to enjoy, but I kept coming back to it over the years until finally realising what a masterpiece it was. After that realisation I gave their whole back catalogue a proper listen, kicking myself for missing out on one of the most inventive bands of the 1990s. "D.I. Go Pop" for me is by far their best album, but several of their EPs are equally rewarding. You can find most of their EP recordings on the 2011 collection "The 5 EPs", released by One Little Indian. Well worth purchasing. I guess you could say their first and third albums are more or less what you could call "normal", compared to "D.I. Go Pop".

They did actually record a song called "D.I. Go Pop", which wasn't on the aforementioned album, but appeared on their 1993 EP "The Last Dance". I think you'll find this the most insane track on this collection, but a bit like with Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica", after several plays you begin to make some kind of sense of what the hell is going on...! I posted the mix of this on hearthis the other day and it's already received over 140 listens, which I find somewhat amazing! So, no more yapping from me, I hope you enjoy this latest collection. Cheers!


  1. Summer's Last Sound (5:37)
  2. Fallen Down the Wire (4:37)
  3. The Atheist's Burden (3:55)
  4. A Whole Wide World Ahead (4:37)
  5. When the Story Breaks (3:08)
  6. Arc in Round (3:57)
  7. Incentives (3:27)
  8. D.I. Go Pop (5:06)
  9. Tortoise (2:19)
10. Waking Up (5:56)
11. In Sharky Water (4:39)
12. Love Stepping Out (6:17)
13. Hope to God (1:39)
14. It's a Kid's World (4:29)
15. Entertainment (4:45)
16. New Clothes for the New World (1:57)
17. A Little Something (2:55)
18. A Rock to Cling To (3:49)
19. Even the Sea Sides Against Us (3:43)
20. Things Move Fast (2:59)

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