Various – Fac. Dance 02

Strut Records

When you think of the late great Factory Records flagship acts like Joy Division New Order and Happy Mondays immediately come to mind. But the Manchester imprint brought a lot more to the table — and the dance floor — during its decade-plus run as FAC. DANCE 02 proves.

Compiling rarities 12-inch single versions and a few Factory favourites the second instalment in Strut’s series casts its net even wider than its predecessor digging up two additional discs of Factory’s more dance-geared ’80s material. And unless you’re a serious Factory nut chances are many of the songs included will be unknowns but there may be a reason for that.

With the exception of A Certain Ratio’s post-punky funk workout “The Fox” and ESG’s downright classic “Moody” and “You’re No Good” there are few essential tracks or hidden gems to be found with much of the comp’s material feeling a bit second rate. Despite veering into dub industrial Afrobeat and straight-up synth pop inclusions by lesser-knowns like Shark Vegas Fadela and 52nd Street may be interesting period pieces but they’re hardly the type of songs to be set on repeat in 2012. Tracks by the Wake the Durutti Column and Section 25 do bump up the quality but these are few and far between.

It’s commendable that Strut has taken it upon itself to fill in some historical gaps but at this point it seems like the imprint is scraping the bottom of the Factory barrel.