Kampfbereit Review


First off, a disclaimer - this CD, despite the fact that I found it in a perfectly reputable shop is in all probability a bootleg. This means that it's quite possible you won't be able to find it in your local store and that even thinking about it may (depending on where you live) be a heinous crime punishable by all sorts of unimaginable things. You have been warned.

This live CD on the mysterious Bundy label compiles a selection of tracks from two 1985 concerts, one in Amsterdam and one in Brussels. There's eight tracks from each, with considerable overlap between the two.

The first eight tracks (it's not made clear which concert is which) are very clearly recorded, with almost no hiss whatsoever - probably a soundboard recording. There are no real surprises here, with decent versions of songs from Front 242's first two albums. The arrangements differ from the album versions by enough to be interesting to the serious collector and are rather longer too but there's nothing that makes the material on here a must-have. Sound quality is excellent and the stereo separation is pretty decent too.

The second eight have rather inferior sound by comparison with the first, with noticeable hiss but still reasonable stereo. However, the hiss is only really apparent during the quieter passages and with a decent pair of headphones it's still quite listenable. The material is from the same period as the first concert, although probably not the same tour since those songs that do overlap differ in their arrangements.

Although the sound quality is excellent in places, this CD is really only recommended for the serious Front 242 fan especially when you consider how expensive bootlegs can be. If you're either new to Front 242 or have just started with them, you'd be much better off going for the real albums than this live boot.

Note that the cover art and disc are riddled with mistakes, from the mislabelling of "No Shuffle" on the disc as "Lovely Day" to mislabelling "With Your Cries" as "Take One" on the back cover and misspelling the title of the first track. They even get the length of the disc wrong (managing to get the length of every single track wrong and resulting in the disc being over 3 minutes longer than listed on the insert).

Erland Rating: +1

Al Crawford (awrc@dcs.ed.ac.uk)