Platform 23 returns to where it began, working the Vox Man Records to bring their compelling and unique archive to light, going beyond the hugely successful Alternative Funk compilations that launched the label, to again create a compilation from their cult cassette releases, in this instance Audiologie N°4 - The Independant Psychedelic Trip and Audiologie 5 et 6 - Ethniques Urbaines.
Run by Axel Kyrou (Vox Populi!) and Francis Man (FR6 Man / Kosa), their label, releasing cassettes, 7” and LPs between 1982 – 88, was an outlet of and beyond their music as Vox Populi!, highlighting contributions from contemporary and new artists from the avant-garde and post punk scenes, mixing cold wave, industrial, proto-dub and spoken word. Offering more than the sum of their parts, the best of the two cassettes is compiled here in “Ethniques Psychedeliques”, a snapshot of contributions from far and wide, based on the warm expanse of ethnic world music with an idiosyncratic psychedelic nature throughout the selections.
As numerous “Various Artist” compiles sprung up in the early 80s around the DIY post-punk scene; artists and labels - communicating by letter, postcard, PO Box, phone and fax – cross pollinated to release and promote each other.
Starting with archivist, radio host and musician Donald Campau - a legend of the American cassette scene – a perfect acoustic welcoming. Two stalwarts of the experimental / industrial scene follow in Laurent Pernice and his hypnotic, ethno-tribal ‘Plan De Coupe’ and Brian Ladd (Psyclones) with the anthemic guitar of ‘Brian Song’. Long-time Vox Man collaborator, Pacific 231 presents his unmistakable and catchy electro-alternative-funk, before Jacki Moreau’s psychedelic acoustics of ‘Knossos’ is the first of his two offerings, leading to the closing claustrophobic widescreen design of Sound Color’s aptly titled ‘Wandering Soul’.
Side Two opens with hero’s Vox Populi! and one of their best-ever, the centerpiece of the album, a 10-minute ethnic-psychedelic masterpiece ‘Micro Climax’. Professor’s Steve Jones’ The Arms Of Someone New make a welcome appearance, continuing the compilations inclusion a number of rhythmic fuzz guitar work outs, propelled by raw beats and dub bass. Sound Color return with another highlight, ‘The Unconquered Sun’ and its Book Of The Dead percussive raga-mantra. Jacki Moreau also reappears with the inclusion of his theatrical soundtrack single ‘Paris-Pop’, before Vox Populi! avant-collaborate with multi-instrumentalist Oliver Abitbol, and the quirky, closing by choreographer, dramatist, film maker, poet and explorer extraordinaire, Jean Cocteau ends with a perfect warped psychedelic waltz.