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DISLOCATION DANCE (Buy CDs by this artist)
Music Music Music (UK New Hormones) 1981
Slip That Disc! (UK New Hormones) 1981
Midnight Shift (UK Rough Trade) 1984

At the time of its inception, dance-oriented rock was a good idea that quickly turned formulaic and mundane. But the irreverent genre-busting of Dislocation Dance, a skillful Manchester outfit, almost singlehandedly redeems early DOR.

Slip That Disc!, an eight-song 12-inch, couches its peppy rhythms and schematic trumpet and guitar parts in kitchen-clean production. Only the cover of Lennon/McCartney's "We Can Work It Out" (which renders the hopeful outlook of the original dark and doubtful) and "Clarinetsource" (subversive dub with neurotic processed clarinet sounds) hints at DisDance's promise.

The Music Music Music LP fulfills the promise and then some, with busier, more stylized production and an eclectic brew of pop, funk and jazz. One of the many highlights is "Take a Chance (On Romance)," setting the demented '40s swing of the tune against the wistful "sadness that just won't go away" of the lyrics. Dislocation Dance's whimsical humor makes modern "dislocation" easier to take, and its use of varying jazz styles in a rock context is the widest and most effective since the Bonzo Dog Band held sway.

[Mark Fleischmann]