In the early 90s, a number of bands exploring the daring side of guitar pop and rock started to emerge in the UK. Most were new, some included members of 80s groups looking for new directions. They were supported by established independent labels such as Rough Trade and 4AD/Guernica and new ventures like Too Pure or Domino.
Influenced by the legacy of post-punk, minimalism, 70s art rock and a growing electronic scene, their first releases were enthusiastically received by the media. This included a 1994 article in The Wire where journalist Simon Reynolds used the term “post-rock” to refer to some of them: Bark Psychosis, Disco Inferno, Moonshake, Seefeel, Main, Pram, Insides…Even though these bands didn’t sound alike, they seemed to share an ethos of deconstruction and were interested in the possibilities of studio manipulation.
Calling their music post-rock meant that it still had a link with established rock music, even as it picked it apart and made something new from its component parts. However, 1994 was also the first year when Britpop dominated the UK charts and music press, and the contemporary artists featured on this collection felt their already-small window of exposure shrinking. Still, away from the limelight, they released innovative records that were lauded worldwide and have since acquired cult status. The second part of the 90s brought a new crop of groups and “bedroom” labels that carried on this forward-thinking attitude to music, unburdened by genre notions and open-minded.