RYKODISC RELEASE: OCTOBER
12, 2004 REVIEW: DECEMBER
This collection is what every industrial
fan needs or has wanted in the past.
Back in the days of music experimentation
and collaboration at the legendary
Chicago Trax Studios, many musicians
found a home for their alternative
music. Getting signed to Jim Nash's
breakthrough label was a big bonus.
Some might have started just as studio
extras and got promoted to full band
membership. Ministry was one of the
projects to find a home here when
not working for their full-time label
Sire Records. Many times their true
identities were not credited on record,
but we all knew it was Al Jourgensen
and Paul Barker behind the scene.
Names frequently associated with the
label's mish-mash music stable are:
Luc van Acker, Bill Rieflin, Richard
23, Chris Connelly and Michael Balch.
To make such an impact, Wax Trax!
seemed to have the right distribution
to get their vinyl releases to all
corners of North America and licensed
to European labels.
This is the first compendium of Jourgensen's
and Ministry's side projects up to
1990. Disappointingly, this first
pressing of "Side Trax"
is in monaural form. We're hearing
there's a fixed version about to be
released. All the 15 tracks have been
released on past EP:s except for "Show
Me Your Spine". The first third
is dedicated to Pailhead. This band
is highly underrated as the raw energy
exudes from familiar "No Bunny"
and the angst come rage in "I
Will Refuse". Simple yet effective
guitar riffs, the accelerated drums
and crashes go beyond backing track
to the Minor Threat vocals of Ian
MacKaye. Some great use of the telephone
answering playback and megaphone techniques
add to the flavour. Opener "Man
Should Surrender" reminds me
of Dead Kennedys style pogo-ing material.
The next segment offers four tracks
from 1000 Homo DJ:s. Jourgensen takes
on the vocalist role on two songs,
while Jello Biafra and Trent Reznor
guest on the latter out of print CD
P.T.P. (Programming the Psychodrill)'s
"Show Me Your Spine" recording
shows the second time Jourgensen was
told how to do his music. Then Trax
Studio visitor, Nivek Ogre walks by
and ends up laying down the vocals
for this unreleased full length song,
originally penned for Paul Verhoeven's
original "Robocop" movie
(1987). It would have been a catch
to have the original Jourgensen vocal
on this disc as well for comparison.
PTP later shine in their quirky "Rubber
Glove Seduction" dance track
The Acid Horse single completes this
archive. A collaboration with seminal
UK dance industrial act Cabaret Voltaire,
the track "No Name No Slogan"
continues in the vein of "Rubber
Glove Seduction". It has Connelly,
Kirk and Mallinder on vocals. The
more dance appeal Cabaret Voltaire
remix that ends the CD was mixed by
the Cabs in their home studio location
of Sheffield, UK.
These "Side Trax" can be
enjoyed in a crowded goth bar or while
in solitary confinement. And so ends
the era of the Hypo Luxa/Hermes Pan
production team (RIP).
A companion Ministry roots CD called
Trax" is also available.