One can only hope that New York City's current existential gloom spawns the kind of subterranean musical hyperactivity it saw in the early '80s. As the city clawed out of the fiscal straits of the time and faced the onset of AIDS, its underground scene soldered funk, disco, reggae, jazz, and outsider fashion together with punk attitude and hip-hop energy. Anti-NY spotlights seven remarkable aural bits from the era and remixes five of them. The collection's diversity and star value dazzle: The edgy disco-funk of Konk's "Love Attack" shimmies with the PiL-ish "Girl's Imagination" by Jim Jarmusch's Del/Byzanteens. Meanwhile, "If I Give You a Party," by electro novelty act Sexual Harassment, bumps hips with the abstract "Drum Mode" by Gray, a quartet formed by Jean-Michel Basquiat and early hip-hop culture promoter Michael Holman.
Rammellzee's seething rhymes on Death Comet Crew's "Exterior St." shoot hip-hop into the sci-fi realm twelve years before Dr. Octagon ever did it. But Vivien Goldman's lovelorn "Launderette" (featuring members of roots-reggae band Aswad and PiL) takes the prize, as its "Cool Jerk"-style bassline slides into dub-groove territory while Goldman croons about romance between soak and spin.
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