It would be easy to view ’80s Britain as a land of drab, conservative realism. Margaret Thatcher’s economic vision posited that there was no alternative to capitalism and that the nation as a whole had to come to terms with this grim but simple fact.
Though much of the music here is not overtly political, what it does attempt is to expand the parameters of this myopic vision of reality, to encompass the full remits, the full possibilities, of life and art.
From Coil and Kate Bush, who would use cutting-edge sampling technology to redefine the textural world of song, to the hypnagogic dreamscapes of Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, and Felt, each artist here is hell-bent on rejecting the narrow confines of realism.
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