HARDHOUND

Pop Will Eat Itself – X Y & Zee

Author: Colin | Published: 1/12/10

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Pop Will Eat Itself - X Y & Zee

Artist Pop Will Eat Itself
Title X Y & Zee
Label BMG Records (UK) Ltd
Year 1991
Design “American Expressionism from The Designers Republic”
Music Popular dance music
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Notes The all too perfectly moniker’ed Pop Will Eat Itself lasted from 1986 to 1995. Unfamiliar with their music at the time, I’m listening now and I hear a baggy dance groove, northern accents, pre-echoes of Underworld and heaps of attitude. All those elements make them a great subject for Sheffield’s The Designers Republic (the lack of apostrophe was deliberate on the company’s part).

This record is a special edition 12″ single which contains three mixes of the title track and another song, Psychosexual that bizarrely applies a sample of an orchestrated version of Satie’s Trois Gymnopedies to a whispering dance groove. It came in a box that the previous owner strengthened with masking tape on the corners. The ‘exclusive Robo-Head Sample It… 10″ sticker’ is long gone, but the record is only a little crackly. The lovely red vinyl positively glows on the black background of the record player. The poster is still in good condition and bears traces of Blu-tack in the corners. This record was owned by a fan who surely stuck it up on her bedroom wall. The band are portrayed as moody and watchful like caged animals.

TDR’s design is a relatively restrained example of the firm’s signature style. The whole thing is rendered in neon colours: green, yellow and red. If the meaning of the central symbol isn’t ultimately decipherable, that’s all to the good. There’s certainly a distinct buzz, replete with sci-fi connotations, to it – blade-like figures extend aggressively out of the central hive/sphere. The record’s title is laid over the base of the motif, the letters abstracted to suggest figures dancing, arrows indicating lines of energy thrusting outwards. Details like the info-box in the upper left corner are delightful, particularly ‘Product status: current’.

Finally, the run-out groove carries the messages ‘Copymaster Miles’, ‘Ssshhh… Don’t Wake Milky.’ and ‘Take your pants off’ – the latter perhaps a punning reference to the group’s collective writing alias, Veston Pance. I’d like to set up a plain website devoted to collecting all the enigmatic messages etched into records.

The group’s lead singer, Clint Mansell, began a new career as a well-regarded composer in the late ’90s with his soundtracks for Darren Oronofsky’s π and Requiem for a Dream while Richard March and Robert Townsend formed Bentley Rhythm Ace.

See also:
- Pop Will Eat Itself, Wikipedia

Listen Pop Will Eat Itself – X Y & Zee (Intergalactic mix)

Comments

  1. I remember buying Cure For Sanity (the album which contained X Y & Zee) primarily because I loved the artwork. A life-long (almost) fan of the Designers Republic, it ticked so many boxes for me, from the odd robot type head of the cover and multiple logos to tiny text everywhere…

    Comment by themilkman — March 2, 2011 @ 9:25 am

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