Greater Than One

  • Greater Than One
  • Dance of the Cowards (Kunst=Kapital) 1988 
  • G Force (Wax Trax!) 1989 
  • London (Wax Trax!) 1989 
  • Index EP (Wax Trax!) 1991 

Compared to other industrial dance bands, this London duo (Lee Newman and Michael Wells) is pretty easy on the ears, assembling their version of synth rhythms, found-sound samples and occasional chanted vocals with a reasonably light touch. Not that the four-sided London (which expands Dance of the Cowards by six tracks) doesn’t rattle the walls now and then, but GTO tends to enfold often political (occasionally operatic) real-life samples (the prosaic “Now Is the Time,” presented in two mixes here, includes Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and calisthenic directions) in a supportive ambient/rhythmic bed rather than jam on the audio vérité just to pump up the tumult.

The duo favors its own voices and stronger beats on G Force, but the record is still fairly accessible. GTO isn’t exactly bursting with ideas, but their work is not without imagination (“Why Do Men Have Nipples?” snatches some dopey Alaskan TV dating show, surrounding it with snappy synth percolations) or the power to provide diverting entertainment, on or off club floors.

[Ira Robbins]