Third Mind label compilations

[ Une Saison En Enfer sleeve]"Une Saison En Enfer (Album, 1988)

Third Mind

For many, myself included, Third Mind is a label that has a special place in people's hearts. For me, it was during their early heyday and when, in 1985, I picked up my first Attrition album, Smiling, At The Hypogonder Club, that I first discovered them. My affection for the label grew as my musical education improved and broadened with each new release I acquired. Although not always entirely satisfied with my speculative purchases, nevertheless I always came away enriched in some way. That the label was based just a few miles further down in Kent, home to DSO, gave me the feeling there was some kind of regional kindred spirit there too.

There was always an element of the 4AD label about Third Mind's output. They were also brave enough to back artists whose commercial potential was neither obvious nor likely. Frankly, Third Mind was far more willing to take risks than 4AD in that respect. As the home to some of the finest exponents of the 80s alternative underground scene, Third Mind provided key genre bands like In The Nursery, Nurse With Wound, Attrition, Front Line Assembly with a platform for global exposure through some well-placed licensing deals in territories like Benelux, Greece, North America, Scandanavia, France and Germany.

But there was a far calmer side, alt-pop side to their ouvre too. This 1988 release provides an overview of the Third Mind catalogue up to that point (though Nurse With Wound are notably absent, and there's no In The Nursery who had yet to come on board) and remains a broad representation of the label's diversity and quality. From the ambient, whispering female vocals of Area's I'll Gather Flowers to the early EBM industrial of Body Count by Front Line Assembly, this is never predictable. Whatever the artist's musical sphere of interest, integrity and belief in what they were doing is a constant. 7/10

Rob Dyer (February 2006)