The album is a compilation from 1987, but the songs all precipitate from 1981 at the latest - in case anyone was wondering about my dating. This is me catching up with a mental note made back in 1981 upon hearing Josef K's Endless Soul on the C81 compilation put together by persons at New Musical Express. I never bought NME, at least not regularly. Every time I saw a copy it irritated the living shit out of me. I think my friend Pete bought it because he really needed to know who was cool that week, so that's probably why he had C81, and thus was I able to borrow the tape because I wanted to copy the Cabaret Voltaire track; and Josef K's Endless Soul was about the best thing on there.
Yet somehow I never got any further. I think it was an impression formed of Josef K being one of those Postcard records bands, meaning they probably wore jumpers and sang twee songs about picnics and ginger beer, like Haircut 100 but without the tunes. I think this impression may have derived from the aforementioned Pete regarding Postcard as the most amazing stable of artists ever assembled, at least for a couple of weeks, which was tiresome and off-putting. I never worked out who he thought was impressed.
Thankfully, once I'm beyond my previously established comfort zone of Endless Soul, it turns out that Josef K sound nothing like I imagined they might. In fact, they sound a bit like how I always hoped Bauhaus would sound, but didn't - spiky, and angular guitar riffs mixed in with choppy funk, but more like a soul band than purveyors of the customary doom such a dynamic might ordinarily entail. The chords are weird, sharp, and jazzy, and the production is that bone dry post-punk thing falling somewhere between Gang of Four and Metal Box, aside from the cracking of an occasional, possibly conditional smile - as I suppose you'd expect of a band named after Franz Kafka's most beloved character. They should have been massive, but never mind.