Title: Propaganda: Wishful thinking
Author: Helen Fitzgerald
Source: Melody Maker
Publish date: November 23, 1985
The Cryptic Factor
PROPAGANDA: Wishful Thinking (ZTT)
So now it’s virtually unanimous — Propaganda fly their noble standard over pop’s crumbling buttress and we stand aside to gasp with admiration. And why not? If alternatives are sought but aren’t forthcoming then improvement is the best we can hope for and Propaganda full the gap with such sublime persuasion that only a complete cynic could deny their intricacy the appreciation it deserves.
For here is more than intellectual concept swaddled in technological intrigue. Despite the philosophical and literacy allusions, Propaganda are hardly inanimate academics. They use the artifice of idea merely to illuminate their own beauty in a narcissistic yet curiously pleasing manner that somehow defies pretension. Goethe is the source on this occasion; “Refashioning the fashioned lest it stiffen into iron is work of endless vital activity”. The quote explains a mini-album remix of the highlights from “Secret Wish”, surely one of the best LPs of the year.
The press release of course goes one better. “Thinking is over 40 minutes of new energies and shapes, a much less controlled reproduction (re-edited and mixed by Robert Kraushaar and Paul Morley) of these songs made for less controlled responses, an up-to-date version of the reviled but smashing when it was ‘The Velvets At Max’s Kansas City’ live LP, a whole load of collisions and changes for not much more than the price of a 12-inch”.
So much for the guff. These “Disturbances” are a perfect freeform accompaniment to “Secret Wish”, proof that Propaganda are capable of divine interpretations and, if you’ve not already succumbed to their complex beauty, this could serve as an inspired introduction. These remix artifacts normally aren’t worth the plastic they’re engraved on but this limited edition is a real collector’s item.
Call it a private indulgence.