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Section 25 \ Always Now [FBN 3-045]


Factory Benelux is proud to present a deluxe 5-disc vinyl box edition of Always Now, the debut album by Section 25, originally issued on Factory Records in 1981 and produced by Martin Hannett.

Recorded as a trio at Pink Floyd's Britannia Row studio in London, Always Now combined austere post-punk rhythms with elements of Can, Krautrock and modern psychedelia. Key tracks include Friendly Fires, Dirty Disco and New Horizon, along with C.P. (a collaboration with Hannett) and Hit (extensively sampled by Kanye West for the track F.M.L. on his 2016 album The Life of Pablo).

Disc 2 (clear vinyl) gathers together several non-album singles from 1980 and 1981, including Charnel Ground, Je Veux Ton Amour and debut EP Girls Don't Count - the latter produced by mentors Rob Gretton and Ian Curtis (of Joy Division).

Disc 3 (silver vinyl) offers a complete live show professionally recorded at Groningen (Netherlands) on 26 October 1980, as part of a Factory package tour.

Disc 4 (yellow vinyl) is part-improvised second studio album The Key of Dreams, recorded and produced by the band themselves a few months after Always Now, and released by Factory Benelux in June 1982.

Disc 5 (red vinyl) consists of further experimental material recorded in 1981 and self-released on a cassette called Illuminus Illumina. This final disc closes with an extended (and previously unreleased) live encore jam recorded with all four members of New Order at Reading University on 8 May 1981.

All tracks are newly re-mastered from the original quarter-inch tapes. The first 1000 copies of the box set are pressed in coloured vinyl (black, clear, silver, yellow, red); the outer case is printed in PMS 123C with spot varnish.

A limited quantity of 100 copies is available with two bonus postcards, one an original painting by Larry Cassidy bearing his printed signature on the reverse, and newly signed by Vin Cassidy and Paul Wiggin. This bundle also includes two A4 prints of posters for Belgian concerts by Section 25 in 1980 (Plan K 04/1980 and ULB 10/1980).

Disc 1:

1. Friendly Fires
2. Dirty Disco
3. C.P.
4. Loose Talk (Costs Lives)
5. Inside Out
6. Melt Close
7. Hit
8. Babies In the Bardo
9. Be Brave
10. New Horizon

Disc 2:

1. Knew Noise
2. Up To You
3. Girls Don't Count
4. After Image
5. Human Puppets
6. Charnel Ground
7. Haunted
8. Je Veux Ton Amour
9. One True Path

Disc 3:

1. Loose Talk (live 26.10.1980)
2. Human Puppets (live 26.10.1980)
3. Knew Noise (live 26.10.1980)
4. Friendly Fires (live 26.10.1980)
5. Girls Don't Count (live 26.10.1980)
6. New Horizon (live 26.10.1980)
7. Haunted (live 26.10.1980)
8. You're On Your Own (live 1.11.1980)
9. One Step Backward (live 18.4.1981)

Disc 4:

1. Always Now
2. Visitation
3. Regions
4. The Wheel
5. No Abiding Place
6. Once Before
7. There Was a Time
8. Wretch
9. Sutra

Disc 5:

1. Fallen Monument
2. Are You There?
3. Virtually Everything
4. Tape Loop
5. Subferior
6. In the Garden of Eden
7. Cry
8. Red Voice
9. Floating
10. Reading Uni Jam with New Order (8.5.1981)

Available as a boxed 5xLP vinyl set and digital download (MP3). 2xCD version also available here. To order please select correct shipping option and click on Add To Cart button below the cover image, or else you can order from our friends at Burning Shed


Always Now [FBN 3-045]
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Reviews:

"Martin Hannett's production on Always Now - his crowning achievement - doesn't wrap the music in his trademark sepulchral opulence. Rather a starkly lit, intimate space is conjured, seemingly real but somehow alien, a space that feels like it's being dreamed as you listen, with the players as disembodied, spectral presences" (The Wire, 06/2015)

"The rhythm-focused first album by Section 25 is a vital mid-point between the bass-driven side of Pil's Metal Box and minimalist Joy Division workouts like I Remember Nothing. A Krautrock-y spaciness brings trippy disorientation. Back in 1981 much distracted from the music, but heard now without the baggage overlooked Always Now stands the test of time with aplomb. Its case is enhanced by the copious bonuses on this double set, which include an impressively high fidelity 1980 live show. 4 stars" (Mojo, 05/2015)

"This widescreen version of their impressive debut is essential. Not only has it been taken from the original master tapes and replicates Peter Saville's original matchbook-like sleeve, but it also features a John Peel session plus a live gig from 1980 as well as album outtakes. If Joy Division were Factory's crown jewels, Section 25 were an uncut diamond. Four stars" (Record Collector, 06/2015)

"One of the best albums Britain's second city has unleashed" (Q Magazine, 03/2006)

"A feast of serrated guitars over dub-spacious production, gloom rock that exults in its own monumental miserabilism. Mere period depresso-rock? No. Always Now and other tracks here could be the work of an aspirant contemporary experimental outfit. In fact leading Brit indie band Friendly Fires took their name from track one, side one" (Classic Pop, 06/2015)

"A work that is really one of the key releases of the time along with the Joy Divs and Public Image. Listen to it now and it sounds like a modern record" (Louder Than War, 12/2012)

"Their most complete statement. Several complementary shades of gloomy" (Q Magazine, 11/1991)

"A modern redevelopment of psychedelia" (Melody Maker, 01/1992)

"Stone tablets from a distant, mist-shrouded age" (Uncut, 08/2000)

"In 1980 their bass-driven mantras were thoughtlessly dismissed as second-rate Joy Division, but hindsight judges them more kindly. The wind-dried skeins of their blasted guitar harmonics and skimped electronics gauntly cling to the songs' skeletal frames. With tell-tale titles like Babies in the Bardo their Buddhist interests hang heavy over these early stirrings.... Combining a bass-led drone with a characteristic groaning vocal, Charnel Ground succinctly pins down Section 25's pre-disco appeal" (The Wire, 06/2002)

"Section 25 were great at grim insistence, and hard to top" (eMusic, 09/2006)

"Superb reissue. Section 25 seem to have been forever trapped between austere Factory cultish-ness and the actual thrust of this amazing, other music. Always Now has a sound closer to a Can hybrid, but no-one wanted to notice. Recommended" (Boomkat, 02/2007)

"The causes and conditions that made the 78-81 post-punk explosion possible were absolutely unique. These exceptional circumstances allowed an enormous diversity to pervade the movement. From the lo-fi YeYe-isms of the Marine Girls or the Mo-dettes to the Pop Group's deeply intense stop-start nursery noise jazz brilliance, from the genre-bending crunching aural crankiness of This Heat to the loosely-sketched ambient punk of Section 25, from Swell Maps' electric-socket licking frantic frizz punk to the Brian Wilson-in-pastels goose bump sigh pop of the Raincoats, never before has a relatively small and contained movement encompassed such variety, quality and power" (The Observer, 10/2016)