Album Reviews

Surprize: “In Movimento” (Factory Benelux)

 

in movimento 
In many ways, the short-lived Belgian band Surprize was one of the first Factory-influenced bands. In their brief career, this quintet released only two four-track EPs and one 12″ single, but there’s nothing on here that doesn’t sound un-Factory like.  Their first single, released in 1981, comes last in the collection’s lineup, and is a shock for those who have enjoyed their post-punk; “Nu-Clear Dance” and “Empty House” are straight-up Two-Tone ska numbers. So shockingly different are these songs that one might initially wonder if their inclusion is a manufacturing error! Their sound would totally change by the time of their first EP, The Secret Lies in Rhythm, was released in 1982, and it contains wild, unrestrained sounds that blend funk, reggae, and post-punk together in a promising but somewhat sloppy mess.  There’s promise. though, in the powerfully groovy “I Feel I Fall” and “Don’t Want Be Easier,” which definitely recall the work of A Certain Ratio  It’s not surprising, then, that they caught the attention of Factory Benelux, who released their second EP, 1984’s In Movimento. For this release the influences of Factory bands such as The Durutti Column, New Order, and A Certain Ratio cannot be ignored. One shouldn’t necessarily be surprised, though, considering Bernard Sumner, under his Be Music producer moniker, and A Certain Ratio’s Donald Johnson, under his Dojo producer moniker, are the men behind the desk on their sole Factory Benelux release. The sound of these four songs is definitely more polished and perhaps show the overt influence of their producers “Over Italia” and “Stavolta” recall Vini Reilly‘s LC era, though lead singer Wud has a much more pleasant voice, while “Parador Style” is simply a fine song. In Movimento is the record of a young band that might not have been earth-shattering or original, but definitely produced some quality, enjoyable music.

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