Published Sep 28, 2016Over the past few years, Numero Group has unearthed out-of-print discographies from '80s and '90s gems like the Scientists, Bedhead and Codeine, bringing these nearly forgotten groups a whole new audience, and most importantly, a new home on vinyl. But much like the Chicago label's terrific White Zombie collection, released in June, Masculin Féminin focuses exclusively on the early years from NYC indie noise combo Blonde Redhead.
This sprawling 37-track collection focuses on the band's first two albums, Blonde Redhead and La Mia Vita Violenta — both released in 1995 and both released through Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley's Smells Like record label. The Blonde Redhead of today are a lush, cinematic outfit defined by guitarist/vocalists Kazu Makino and Amedeo Pace's corporeal musical chemistry, backed by with Simone Pace's ultra-fluid drumming, but the Blonde Redhead of yore were still finding their sound, and much of their material either came off like Guy Picciotto-led Fugazi (who would co-produce two of their later LPs) or Kim Gordon-led Sonic Youth (Shelly would produce their self-titled LP). And yet, their dedication to sound experimentation can't be denied.
On their early singles, B-sides, demos and sessions, Blonde Redhead came off much looser and original, and thankfully, Masculin Féminin is loaded with them, as the collection features a whopping 19 non-album tracks, many of them featured on vinyl for the first time. Topped off with exhaustive liner notes with essays and photos, Masculin Féminin is specifically designed for completists, providing superfans a satisfying wealth of unreleased material. (Numero Group)