Front 242 seem to be very popular with the bootleggers these days, as evidenced by the appearance of yet another "live, rare and probably illegal" F242 CD in my local shop. Apparently the new single European market (or something) is going to make bootleg availability in the UK at least much better than it has been in the past (it's been illegal to import them) but since this review is going worldwide and since even the possession of bootlegs is illegal in many places I'd better make it quite clear here and now that this is a bootleg which means that a) no, I can't buy a copy for you and send it and b) even if I did, dangerous-looking men in expensive suits and mirror shades would break down your door the minute you started playing it and you'd never be seen again, except maybe on the side of a milk carton. Well, perhaps I exaggerate, but you get the general idea...
What's nice about this disc is that, unlike most boots I've found, the unknown Italian label is about the only thing that marks this release out as being of dubious origins. It's well packaged with nice screen printing on the CD itself and the sound quality...well, that certainly seems to support the "Digital Recording From The Mixing Desk" claim made on the back cover, as this is (for the most part) crystal clear.
The disc is a record of Front 242's 1991 Tyrrany >For You< tour, and seems to have been recorded at more than one show. The bulk of the material appears to be from the Bonn gig with the last few tracks from the Cincinatti show on the US leg of the tour.
The tracks themselves are a reasonable mix of material from the most recent album Tyrrany >For You< and older material. With as much of the show on tape or sequenced as you'd expect from a very electronically oriented group like Front 242, the mix and sound here don't differ too drastically from the studio originals, but the live quality of the (surprisingly intelligible) vocals and some differences in arrangement do make this something rather more than just a Best Of compilation with added crowd noise. The crowd interaction is pretty limited - exortations to sweat, move, dance etc - and the majority of the material sounds just like the album, but there are touches that stand out such as many of the vocal samples on "Welcome To Paradise" being sung live. The only really new piece here is the extended (4 minutes or so) intro to "Circling Overland", an extended mood piece of dark synths and samples of mission control dialogue from various space missions.
Overall, rather a nice live disc (good enough that any legitimate live F242 album would have difficulty bettering it), but like most live bootlegs this is definitely one for the seriously fanatical rather than the merely interested.
Erland Rating: +2 (for the fanatic) +1 (for anybody else)
Al Crawford (firstname.lastname@example.org)