11 Nov 2004
DAT's all folks! 
The first commercially available DAT releases were released by Factory Records - Fact 204d The Guitar And Other Machines by the The Durutti Column (also available on LP, cassette, CD, VHS video, CDV and 5-inch CD single) and Fact 200d Substance by New Order. Factory Records explains its fondness of shiny new DAT technology in this Q Magazine article (c. 1988)

"We find the British record industry's negative attitude to DAT release ludicrous and counter-productive," they say. "

1) The dangers of copying will only be fought off by a continuing attention to the fetishism of the artefact: the desire of the fan to possess not just a piece of music but a piece of the artist, by the purchase of the official item. Concentration on design, packaging, and the artist's role in this set of product imagery will inevitably render copying a minor irritation. Clearly, not to release on DAT will make DAT copying more - rather than less attractive, which is why we find the rest of the industry's Luddism so insupportable. The role of the artefact is clearly reflected in pre-orders for the new Durutti Column DAT of 1,000 together with CDV orders of 1,500, both figures way in excess of the number of machines that exist in the country.

2) Technology is a moveable feast. The unmatched sampling between CD and DAT, the imminent digitisation of Copycode and the development of one-copy systems will soothe all tears by the end of the year.

And 3) Quite simply, you deal with Digital Audio Tape by using Digital Audio Tape not by slicking your head in the bureaucratic sand of the BPI."

Read the full article here.

... those Factory DATs in full

Fact 200d Substance by New Order
Fact 204d The Guitar and Other Machines by The Durutti Column
Fact 220d Bummed by Happy Mondays
Fact 244d Vini Reilly by The Durutti Column
Fact 250d Substance by Joy Division
Fact 275d Technique by New Order

Factory Classical DATs were scheduled for release but there is no evidence that any were issued commercially.

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

Factory Records

The Durutti Column