Nevertheless both their albums, ‘Move Forward’ released in 2008, and ‘Begin Again’ from 2013 are true electronica gems that every self-respecting synth fan would appreciate.
The founding member and programming genius, Oz Morsley and his previous enterprise EMPIRION however, had a taste of commercial success, having worked in close relationship with THE PRODIGY.
‘Move Forward’ innovates the genre of electronica, having been endorsed by no other than Douglas McCarthy of NITZER EBB and spent several weeks on the top of Deutsche Alternative Charts upon its release. Never a forgotten jewel, it still sounds fresh and racy and is a perfect addition to any synth music collection.
The opening track ‘You Never Know’ co-written and performed by Doug, is as in your face, as it could possibly be, being studded with the signature NITZER EBB “middle finger in the air” attitude. Excellent synth combinations throughout this short three minute wonder make sure the stamp is firmly placed on the non-conformist electronica, one may not have expected in the flood of other candied poppy pieces found elsewhere.
It doesn’t end there… the second track, and probably the best on the album, soon kicks in. ‘I Never Said’ is simply superb, with its progressive, empowering textures, eloquently intertwined digital beats over clever vocals by Greg Cumbers. It hits exactly where it’s supposed to. It is raw, dominant, robust and potent, quintessential KLOQ sound in one pot. Oz’s production talent shines through this tune with light speed, just to introduce the nautically textured ‘Ibiza’, a trancey club track that is perfect for acid induced comas in bright shining lights. No unnecessary vocals, just the crude, rough, sexy and well done catatonia of music. (The author goes off for a quick, nonchalant, yet crazy dance-off before resuming with the article, do not judge me; it’s too good to sit still!)
On the sexy subject, another song co-written by Doug McCarthy follows. ‘We’re Just Physical’ with the trademark voice of the NITZER EBB man and the autograph guitar by same, means business. The refined and sophisticated cluster of sounds wrapped around the polished, yet rough vocals, lead through to ‘So Long Cylon’, which can be described as an EMPIRION come back in a newly acquired skin.
‘Kloq Film 1’ astonishes with its filmic qualities, suitable for the cinematic experience of the most discerning kind. Subtle female vocals over exquisite sounding melodies, digitally enhanced to create an extravaganza of harmony and vibration. The tone changes with the mean and bouncy title track. ‘Move Forward’ has elements of ‘Ibiza’ within it and some magnificent vocals by Greg Cumbers. Unpolished synth sensation, coarse and sophisticated rhythms, excellently placed together and over each other, vibrating around “I won’t be laughing” lyric, bursting with heavy guitar, which is as raunchy as BEYONCE’s thighs in fishnet stockings.
Cumbers continues leading the vocals on ‘Connecting’, the track with a similar feel to the previous song, but with more conventional electronic sounds. Filthy and unscrupulous beats excite the receiver, and that continues over to ‘My Safe Place’ soulfully performed by Paolo Morena and splendidly synthesised by Oz Morsley.
The surprise follows with, none other than a cover of MADONNA’s ‘Lucky Star’. This couldn’t be more different from the pop queen’s take. With a vocodered and decimated male voice, supremely produced sounds and industrial qualities, this track is unique, as is ‘KM1’ that closes the album being equally sui generis. Fast, vibrating, unparalleled to anything contemporary, it is bordering on boundary breaking and matchless.
KLOQ certainly made their point with this album. Not one for faint hearted and sweet loving synth pop pushovers, this is for your full bodied, manly, and sophisticated receivers, ready for a dose of trance and injection of peculiarity. Supported by no other than Doug McCarthy, ‘Move Forward’ firmly holds its place as the album of the future. True synth fan? If you haven’t already, give it a go. You won’t be disappointed.
‘Move Forward’ is still available via Metropolis Records
Text by Monika Izabela Goss
24th July 2015