Various ‎– Nervous Systems

Mute ‎– CD STUMM 41
CD, Compilation


Part One
1 He Said Pump
2 Robert Rental Double Heart
3 Liaisons Dangereuses Mystère Dans Le Brouillard
4 The Birthday Party Mutiny In Heaven
5 DAF* Essen Dann Schlafen
6 DAF* Nacht Arbeit
7 The Normal Warm Leatherette
8 Throbbing Gristle Hot On The Heels Of Love
9 Mark Stewart As The Veneer Of Democracy Starts To Fade
10 NON Embers
Part Two
11 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds In The Ghetto
12 Einstürzende Neubauten Krieg In Den Städten
13 Laibach Geburt Einer Nation
14 Crime & The City Solution Free World
15 Diamanda Galás Sono L'Antichristo
16 Einstürzende Neubauten Kalte Sterne
17 NON Rise

Companies, etc.


Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 5 016025 610419

Other Versions (4 of 4) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
STUMM 41 Various Nervous Systems(LP, Comp) Mute STUMM 41 UK 1992 Sell This Version
none Various Nervous Systems(Cass, Comp) Mute none UK 1992 Sell This Version
CDStumm 46041, CD Stumm 41, Stumm 41, CDMute 46041 Various Nervous Systems(CD, Comp) Indisc, Indisc, Indisc, Mute CDStumm 46041, CD Stumm 41, Stumm 41, CDMute 46041 Belgium 1992 Sell This Version
INT 846.886, CD STUMM 41 Various Nervous Systems(CD, Comp) Mute, Mute INT 846.886, CD STUMM 41 Germany 1992 Sell This Version



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October 11, 2017

One of Mute's "conceptual" compilation releases earlier in the 90s, partially digging into "The Grey Area" - the label established as a subsidiary. At the time, Mute were licensed for loads of amazing re-releases and along "The Tyranny Of the Beat", "Nervous Systems stands as one true treat, offering a sneak peek at some of underground music's finest chapters. Especially taking under consideration some of the contents were at the time available on CD for the first time (most notably tracks by Robert Rental, Liaisons Dangereuses and The Normal).

On first impression, this is a rather unlikely stylistic reconciliation - but then, neither of its protagonists are that far from one another; at worst, this can be called "something for everybody" but then again, such phrase here is given a positive meaning - nicely put together, slightly non-consistent but keeping up with the themes of exploitation, consumerism, sexual politics, environment, religion, bare existence and fast food living. Some of the highlights include He Said's opening, slightly remixed, single version of "Pump", Robert Rental's uptempo masterpiece, the balladic "Double Heart" (with DAF's Robert Görl guesting on drums), Liaisons' energetic miniature that is "Mystere dans le Brouillard" (slightly different from the version that originally appears on their debut LP), and of course The Normal's Ballardian masterpiece that kickstarted the whole Mute story, plus TG's sensual beauty that is the Moroder-esque "Hot On the Heels Of Love".

Merciless confrontational soundscape reflects further in the work of Mark Stewart (one of the finest, most brutal breakbeat fests ever), two early DAF's vignettes (which are the closest in sound a reference to the compilation's title), The Birthday Party's manic delivery on "Mutiny In Heaven", Crime & the City Solution's equally thrilling "Free World", Neubauten's amazing early noise experiments and the most negatively radical of the lot, NON - with "Embers", a never-ending drill that tends to reach you on a subconscious level, and "Rise" - a stunning repetitive snippet axing away like a ball of shattering glass, rolling down the compilation's tale end. Diamanda Galas, Nick Cave and Laibach also stand out - for each in stark contrast between them or among others; "Sono L'Antichristo" is the ultimate, creepy beast of a song ... Laibach's Kraftwerk-ish but rather tedious techno-style military gloss fits in nicely after Neubauten's "Krieg In der Städten", while Nick Cave is the most sentimental (although the delivery at times betrays traces of cynicism in an otherwise beautiful rendition).

In all, a good recommendation for anyone discovering Mute's catalogue when picked at random - the CD adds the "interlude" tracks (which are missing from other formats) but then, despite the great effect these add to, the LP/cassette selection may be a bit more proper a concept (the "Interlude" mainly, and very abruptly, cuts off between the two parts).