[sic] Magazine

port-royal – The Golden Age Of Consumerism

The Golden Age Of Consumerism is a lavish, double disc compilation bringing together all the rarities and ‘hard to find’ mixes by everyone’s favourite Italians. It really is a ‘catch-all’ of a record, trapping pretty much everything from their early, deleted, Kraken EP right up to recent mixes for the likes of Ladytron and D RRadio .

Politically astute and socially aware, the royals have cunningly named this bundle The Golden Age Of Consumerism presumably as an ironic nod to both downloading and internet auction sites. This truly is a ‘golden’ opportunity for port-royal fans (such as myself) to tick off a lot of boxes when it comes to missing tracks in their collections. For the same price as perhaps might be bid against one item on eBay, fans can procure the motherload. True completists won’t mind as this is a specialist release. (Completists will buy anyway, by definition) Yet the integrity of those original releases will remain intact.

Essentially (though not absolutely) disc one focuses on rare EP and compilation tracks. The second CD hosts a plethora of the royals remixes of contemporary acts. Whilst many of the latter carry signature port-royal moves, just occasionally a surprise is thrown up. There’s good humour here too. Witness, Felix Da Housecat , ‘We all wanna be Prince’ and it is difficult to suppress a grin. From the premier disc, the odd one or two tracks are right up there with the Italians very best work. ‘Stasi’ from the Honved EP, has always been a personal favourite of mine and it’s great to see this and other such pieces made more widely available.

I always get the impression with port-royal that it’s a question of if the penny drops, not when. Like the game of Cricket or The Matrix , you know some people just will never ‘get’ port-royal. Others have every chance, if given the opportunity. A sizeable question therefore raises its head, does The Golden Age Of Consumerism provide an opportunity for new fans to discover the royals? An opportunity, yes, but the perfect opportunity, I’m not so sure. Their best work, and I’m certain they won’t mind me saying so, lies elsewhere. It has to. If it didn’t, we would never have been talking about port-royal so fervently in the first place.

The Golden Age Of Consumerism is a bundle of ‘odds and sods’ aimed squarely at existing fans. Credit must be given to both band and label for negotiating the publishing minefield and allowing this collection to see daylight. No brainer really. Buy.