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Review

Various artists

Dugga Dugga Dugga

The second of WMO's tribute albums brings together artists from Europe, USA and Canada to perform their takes on Wire's dissonant 'epic' Drill.

Lessons from Whore have obviously been learned. The bulk of this collection is electronic, thus producing a varied selection of reinventions rather than a collection of turgid rock takes.

Solex begin the 'Drill-a-thon' with a tingling, airy mix. Most of the vocal is included in what is one of the most complete and impressive pieces on the album. Legion of Green Men's version is mostly built from Wire samples. Subdued vocals and a laid-back beat create an entirely new track, and only the vocal and the odd riff really link it to the original. However, Chris & Cosey (of Throbbing Gristle fame) provide the pick of the bunch. Their version is actually not far removed from the original Drill but the instrumentation is utterly effective and keeps the interest more than many of the minimal versions.

The Ex-Lion Tamers finish the collection with a version of 12DrillU that basically reverses Wire's intentions regarding the track, turning Drill into 12XU, complete with opening line, '... and here it is, again ...' This is hardly the most remarkable of the versions on offer but is an amusing and fitting conclusion nonetheless.

Despite initial scepticism about this release, it often proves to be a surprisingly good collection of Drills. It works partly to due to the original's strength but mostly due to the invited artists' ability to deconstruct and make entirely new pieces. Mark Gage's segueways allow the whole thing to merge seamlessly into one mix, though at over 55 minutes long it can be hard work and become rather tedious—perhaps a reference to the original's intention to push banality to the hypnotic?

Craig Grannell (1998)

Cover artwork