One would expect the music produced by a creative triple threat (artist, designer and musician) to be innovative, a little obscure and maybe just to the left of what’s currently dominating the airwaves. That’s exactly what listeners receive from veteran artist Trevor Jackson and his latest musical compilation for Strut, Metal Dance.
Metal Dance provides quality dance music with hip-hop and electro undertones separated into two different CDs. The first track on CD 1, The Bubblemen’s “The Bubblemen Are Coming,” has a nice bassline and serves well as an album opener, setting the tone for the dance-worthy songs that are featured throughout the project. The drums and bass on “Seconds Too Late,” the 1981 single from UK-based group Cabaret Voltaire, make it feel right at home with the other songs featured here and Jackson includes Pete Shelley’s “Witness The Change” as well for a bit of sentimental value. It was Shelley's solo album XL1 (he was also famously a member of the Buzzcocks) which helped Jackson develop a love of visuals and music, making it a most fitting inclusion.
CD 2 opens with Alien Sex Fiend’s “Under The Thunder (Ignore The Dub),” produced and mixed by Martin Rushent, who also helmed Hard Corps’ “Je Suis Passee (Dub)”--a personal favorite. Another definite highlight on the project would be “Do What You Wanna Do” from The Cage featuring Nona Hendryx and in this case 'what you wanna do' is dance and shimmy along with the track.
Overall, the EP is eclectic and fun; vintage and high-quality music. What makes it truly a good listen, though, is the emotional history the songs record for Trevor Jackson; it’s really cool to see and hear what has helped to inspire the veteran that Jackson is today.
- Erin Duncan