Trevor Jackson has long been obsessed with blurring the boundaries between art and music, so his decision to release the 12 tracks that make up Format - his first album in 14 years - across 12 different physical formats (including 8-track, VHS and reel-to-reel tape) could be viewed as a grand artistic gesture masquerading as a commentary on the disposability of recorded music. Either way, it's nice to see that The Vinyl Factory has finally made the tracks available on a single CD and digital release. Musically, Format explores Jackson's usual obsessions - industrial, new wave, EBM, electro, post-punk disco and techno, in particular - with great gusto. As a result, it's a moodier set than his more playful early work (particularly Playgroup), but ultimately more fulfilling.
Playgroup founder and all-round DJ guru Trevor Jackson follows up his excellent Metal Dance compilation, which unearthed some seriously mind-blowing '80s post-punk, EBM and industrial grooves, with a special three-track single of some of the highlights - including The Cage's incredible robotic take on T-Connection's disco classic "Do What You Wanna Do", performed with Labelle singer Nona Hendryx on vocals, as well as an outstanding edit of movements of the soundtrack of John Carpenter's '80s classic "Escape From New York". Truly wild and obscure stuff that fits in nicely with the more underground tech sounds out there today.