Maximum Joy - I Can't Stand It Here On Quiet Nights: Singles 1981-82 2x12"


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Label: Silent Street

Silent Street presents a compilation of singles from Bristol's extraordinary Maximum Joy. Formed in 1980, by 18 year-old vocalist Janine Rainforth alongside Tony Wrafter, a trumpeter/saxophonist previously affiliated with Glaxo Babies. Wrafter's former accomplices, Charlie Llewellin (drums) and Dan Catsis (bass), completed the original line-up, alongside erstwhile Pop Group guitarist John Waddington. With a youthful confidence and energy that leaps out at you even now, they took their diverse influences - punk, modern jazz, disco, dub, funk, soul, Afro-beat, and chansons - and distilled them into some of the greatest, most intoxicating pop music ever made. Together they carved out a story which today stands as a sumptuous feast for anyone interested in the roots and evolution of "the Bristol sound". There are links, back and forth, with The Slits and Dennis Bovell, On-U Sound through to the Wild Bunch, Massive Attack, Smith & Mighty and Tricky's Aftermath.

Thirty-five years on, it's impossible not to be blown away by their combination of instrumental virtuosity and DIY pluck, and by their fearless application of disorientating dub FX. In terms of open-minded, progressive, and life-affirming music made in the post-punk era, little else comes close. This first ever official reissue of Maximum Joy material is centered around the trio of singles the band released on Y Records in 1981-1982. Their first, "Stretch", became an anthem on the New York club underground, a cult staple at Danceteria and on late-night radio. This compilation gives pride of place to their first B side, "Silent Street / Silent Dub," a languid tribute to long summer nights in St Paul's. Llewellin's mesmerizing one-drop kit and Catsis' outrageously heavy bassline anchor the track, allowing Rainforth's exquisite vocal and Wrafter's trumpet to soar within the expressionistic dub mix. In both subject matter and execution, it is the definitive Bristol tune. "White And Green Place (Extraterrestrial Mix)", "In The Air", and wistful instrumental "Simmer Til Done" also feature. The non-Y bonus is the 12" version of "Do It Today", Maximum Joy's contribution to the Fontana compilation Touchdown (1982). Sleeve notes by Janine Rainforth, Tony Wrafter and Kevin Pearce.