Title: The nine lives of Dr Mabuse
Author: Chris Burkham
PROPAGANDA ‘The Nine Lives Of Dr Mabuse’ (ZTT)
AD INFINITUM ‘Telstar’ (Factory)
If you really desire to be hoodwinked by hogwash masquerading as ‘art’ then you need go no further than ‘Telstar’. That theme tune has been dragged up once again, fed into a computerised synthesiser and led docilely into tedium where it will serve time as just another Factory artefact - it is neither a joke nor clever.
Tony Wilson ought to take a tip from Zang Tumb Tuum Records, where, with their egoes gently throbbing, they justify their (deliberately pseudo, no doubt) pompous pretentions by producing massive pop records.
ZZT are a success because they are brimful with conceit, they are playing the game for all its laughs and all its worth and they know that everyone is waiting, aching for them to fall flat on their faces. Without belittling Propaganda’s part in ‘Dr. Mabuse’ it is that clever Trevor Horn who has whipped up this outrageous epic, with a decidedly fascist feel to the marching rhythms in the way they totally dominate you - he has been caught rubbing his adventurous production up against the boldness of Propaganda.
If you want to watch ZTT collapse into a pathetic shambles then, I’m afraid, your wait will be a long one. There is a theme and co-ordination to all of their releases which acutely sums up what so many others have been desperately striving for. One day they will tap into a streak of pure, brilliant madness. Alternatively Trevor Horn may just produce Foreigner. Yes, Asia…