Sharoma Retrofit

Retrofit

Retrofit

I love Section 25. They are one of my favourite bands. "I celebrate their entire catalogue." New albums in 2007, 2009 and 2010 have only reinforced my opinion. They long ago creatively eclipsed their contempories. Their vision has remained intact, encased within successive releases. They operate outside the media circus, caring little for reviews or mainstream recognition.

So, to sum up:

Incredible.

No, but really:

What strikes me most about the three releases of the last three years ('Part-primitiv', 'Nature + Degree' and 'Retrofit') is the unified theme. The artwork always represents, as it did in the Saville days, the music in concept, form and colour. Retrofit is a "re-imagining" of Section 25's older material. Never before have I heard the output of the golden era of post-punk (say, 1977-1983) redone so well. So much so, in subjective fact, that it is superior! The techno-trance of the new version of 'Girls Don't Count' is by far superior to the original, recorded so long ago Ian Curtis was apparently at the helm. Dull, dreary guitar and dolorous drumming are replaced with a computer-generated tour de force. It is mesmerizingly good. Even a reworking of Garageland, one of my favourites from last year's N+D, is entirely justified. Energised by a slowing of the rhythm, at the same time sounding faster and more prescient. Certain lyrical themes are made all the more relevant by Bethany Cassidy's sublime vocals.

It doesn't count
Girls don't count
Women don't count
Money don't count
Talk don't count
Ambition don't count
None of it counts

So really, what I hold here in my hands, fresh from the airmail courier service still in operation in these days of economic collapse, is the perfect product of music. Encased in glossy artwork, certain letters of which spell out the band's name as it wraps around the antiquated analog dial. It's completely modern music. It replaces the old, with the new. It's brilliant, and will offer me countless hours of listening enjoyment.