Compilation Review: ‘Fac.Dance 02: Factory Records 12″ Mixes & Rarities’ (Strut)


A source of posthumous fascination (or a legacy being mined for all its worth, so say the cynical), the second Fac.Dance collection continues its reconstruction of the 1980-87 timeline covering self-carved sovereignty. Again the point is not being all about New Order, Tony Wilson, The Hacienda and all that; it stands for the barely mentioned, even less credited driving forces that secured the legendary status of the FAC mythology.

What becomes quickly apparent on volume two however is that the proto-punk funk, anti-pop and granite-set indie/dance/shoegaze were far from a barrel of a laughs, and certainly gives no indication as to the hedonistic aura you may associate the Factory brand with. Dour bass, indecipherable/‘arty’ vocals, largely sardonic electro-pop (Lord knows Royal Family and The Poor are heavy-going) and sense of being so cool that it becomes burdensome, hasn’t kept the wrinkles of the rebel rawness at bay. Compared to volume one, there’s not much jumping at you, with Kalima’s sparkling jazz jam “Land of Dreams” (that definitely has aged well) and Ad Infinitum’s audacious cover of The Tornados’ “Telstar” the most conspicuous non-followers of the Manchester skyline, amidst some dub involvement from Biting Tongues, Sir Horatio and X-O-Dus, and world vision from Fadela.

It’ll help pull back a few more layers on the Factory/Hacienda legend, but will also consign a good few more to history book footnotes.
File under: The Durutti Column, A Certain Ratio, Quando Quango