Tag: Sarah P (Page 3 of 4)

SARAH P. Who Am I

KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS was the first project Sarah Anna Psalti was involved with, accompanied by the mysteriously named producer and musician RΠЯ.

After the release of their debut long player ‘At Home’ featuring the magnificent ‘Oostende’, SARAH P. decided to relocate to Berlin, where she desperately needed a new start.

Indeed, her first EP ‘Free’ “a couple of years that have been rough and weird”, seeing Sarah “shyly and slowly moving from the ultimate darkness towards the light”.

As the songstress admits, “when I’m writing and recording my own music or working on a feature, I do it all my way. I’ll put together the sounds I like, I’ll play the melodies that I think they fit”.

Now with ‘Who Am I’, Sarah finally unveils the long awaited gem she’d been talking about, “There is a whole concept behind it and I am very much looking forward to sharing it, although I’ve got to hold back and wait!”

Produced together with George Priniotakis, ‘Who Am I’ is “a pop record that is different, an ode to the humanly deep need of security and love”.

Sarah certainly doesn’t shy from the experimentation, sounding exquisitely like Kate Bush on the title track, asking the existential questions over a sparse beat, which flourishes into a house inspired climax.

It’s a perfect description of “humanity, the world we live in and our importance (or unimportance) as individuals and / or as a whole”.

The minimalistic approach permeates throughout the production and is mirrored in the magnificent ‘A Letter From Urban Street’, with its ringing sounds and ethereal vocals, reminiscing a hybrid of Bush / Goldfrapp / Fraser / Scattergood.

‘Away From Me’ borrows ideas from GAZELLE TWIN, paired with the feel of a grown-up nursery rhyme, while ‘Berlin During Winter’ is certainly far colder than sunny Athens, with its Nordic aura. The metallic, scattered sounds vibrate over the urgent build-up of the vocal, culminating in a plethora of voices, at times quite animal sounding in a leaf taken from Alison Goldfrapp’s book.

‘ForgetRegret’ ushers in some dramatic sound play, with fascinating synth textures and captivating voices paving the way for a new style of mature electronica.

The shouting male voices on ‘Instead Of You’ could be the ones from DEPECHE MODE’s vintage B-side ‘Flexible’, but the melody and that gentle, yet powerful female vocal, creates a hedonistic vision of dreamlike state realities, which SARAH P. seems to excel in.

‘LoveStory’ could have featured on the ‘Twin Peaks’ soundtrack, contrary to a faster paced’Millennial Girl’ which capture a sci-fi vision of synthpopia.

‘Summer Prince’ fabulously is a reminder of the Canadian synth queen GRIMES’ style and ‘To You’ toys with the gentility of Sarah’s voice and timid sound manipulation which is rather pleasant on the ear.

What she sets out, she achieves. ‘Who Am I’ is sophisticated, cultured and synthtastic. SARAH P. certainly stands for high quality recordings, originally produced and sophistically executed.

“There’s no right and there’s no wrong, but there’s hope” says Sarah, “And while we’re feeling defeated, even during those dark hours, there’s hope we can do better. And we will.”

She did…


‘Who Am I’ is released as a download album by EraseRestart, available direct from https://sarahpofficial.bandcamp.com/

http://sarahpofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sarahpofficial/

https://twitter.com/sarahpofficial


Text by Monika Izabela Trigwell
Photos by Christoph Neumann
5th May 2017

SARAH P. Asks “Who Am I”

As a trailer to her first lull length album ‘Who Am I’, SARAH P. has unveiled a striking video for the title track…

Having previewed the introspective synthpop of ‘Teach Me How To Love’ and the haunting ‘Berlin During Winter’ already, ‘Who Am I’ comes over as possibly her sparsest and most emotive number yet.

With hypnotising hints of KATE BUSH, percolating Sakamoto-like textures prevail as the Greek-born songstress announces “I don’t know where I come from… do you know my name?” before a metronomic beat kicks in to lead a dramatic house-laden climax. The song is an ode to “humanity, the world we live in and our importance (or unimportance) as individuals and / or as a whole” according to SARAH P.

The video by Italian director Oirot Buntot is a mini-arthouse movie filmed at the Teatro Rossi Aperto in Pisa and paints a moving picture of the philosophical question “Who am I and where I come from?”

Strangely perhaps, the film was actually conceived to another song. But as SARAH P. eloquently puts it: “Science may have proved that opposites attract each other – but that doesn’t always apply in life; like-minded people attract each other, too – perhaps more often than rarely. And since I’m a romantic, I like to think that a series of events brought Oirot Buntot and me together to magically intermix our artistic work and serve each other’s vision, while enhancing our own. How many chances for two independent artworks that were made at a different time, to find each other and become one thing?”

And it all comes together perfectly in this musical tale of modern day disorientation.


‘Who Am I’ is available now as a download single, the album of the same name out on 12th May 2017 via EraseRestart Records.

http://sarahpofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sarahpofficial/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Christoph Neumann
6th April 2017

TEC’s 2016 End Of Year Review

What In the World…

tec2016review-mopho2016 will forever be remembered as the year when a significant number of cultural icons and popular musical figures left us; DAVID BOWIE, PRINCE, TOMITA, PETE BURNS, COLIN VERNCOMBE, KEITH EMERSON, DON BUCHLA and LEONARD COHEN were just some of the names who sadly departed.

But despite sadness that loomed, the year did produce some good music, particularly in the second half of the year.

GARY NUMAN launched an ambitious Pledge Music campaign and released some excellent collaborations with JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS, JEAN-MICHEL JARRE and TITÁN. But with his retrospective tour of material from his three most popular albums taking up much of his year, his new crowdfunded album did not meet its planned October release deadline.

jarreyello2016Meanwhile JEAN-MICHEL JARRE had an excess of material and issued the second volume of his ‘Electronica’ project which also featured YELLO and PET SHOP BOYS, plus a third instalment to his classic opus ‘Oxygène’.

YELLO and PET SHOP BOYS also released new albums to a positive reception, proving again that partnerships featuring personnel over the age of 60 can still create music that is fresh and relevant.

Incidentally, one of YELLO’s young vocalists FIFI RONG continued to maintain her artistic profile with successful campaigns for her releases ‘Forbidden Desires’ and ‘Alone’.

Hannah-Peel-2016-042016 saw two concept albums emerge in ‘The Ship’ from BRIAN ENO, a solemn art piece with poignant anti-war messages and ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’, a very personal musical statement by HANNAH PEEL on the traumas of dementia. It was a busy year for Miss Peel with her also contributing her voice to BEYOND THE WIZARDS SLEEVE and JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS, as well as showcasing her own MARY CASIO side project.

WRANGLER released a new album ‘White Glue’ which exuded a less rigid format compared to its predecessor ‘LA Spark’ and collaborated with JOHN GRANT at the Rough Trade 40 live celebrations, while the prolific Neil Arthur issued another new BLANCMANGE album in ‘Commuter 23’ while also launching a new side project NEAR FUTURE with BERNHOLZ.

midgerusty-2012The Manchester veteran ERIC RANDOM issued ‘Words Made Flesh’, the second album of his recent return to the music while RUSTY EGAN finally presented ‘Welcome To The Dancefloor’ which despite its title, was actually a collection of classic styled synthpop. After many years of trials and tribulations for the co-founder of VISAGE, the long player featuring MIDGE URE, TONY HADLEY and CHRIS PAYNE who co-wrote ‘Fade to Grey’ exceeded expectations.

Space travel and synths were just made to go together, so JØTA and VANGELIS conceived projects covering The Cold War space race and the more recent Rosetta probe respectively. Meanwhile, WHITE LIES again showed they are as synthy as they are guitary on their ‘Friends’ album, and even started to sound like A-HA!

Fellow blog Cold War Night Life released ‘Heresy: A Tribute to RATIONAL YOUTH’ which featured PSYCHE and MACHINISTA as well as the Canadian trailblazers themselves. Meanwhile Ireland staked its claim as a new territory for synthpop talent; CIRCUIT3 ‘siliconchipsuperstar’, TINY MAGNETIC PETS ‘The NATO Alphabet’ and EMBRACE THE CRISIS ‘Black Heart’ were good examples of what was on offer from the Emerald Isle.

Over in the UK, VILE ELECTRODES, SPRAY and ANALOG ANGEL all released new albums. There were long awaited long players too from SHELTER and SINESTAR, but these suffered when compared to respective acts from Sweden, JOHAN BAECKSTRÖM and PRESENCE OF MIND.

So again, Sweden still proved it was special with SILENT WAVE and MY GOD DAMN TERRITORY exhibiting varying degrees of potential. But it was REIN in particular who was causing a stir within the ranks of EBM, while the country’s best kept secret KITE toured North America and Asia. However, neither of these two latter artists figured in the line-up of Gothenburg’s Electronic Summer 2016 festival.

VILLA NAH2016-01The Nordic region saw the welcome return of VILLA NAH with the album ‘Ultima’ after a five year absence, while TRENTEMØLLER made the case again as to why he is still the perfect producer for DEPECHE MODE with his new long player ‘Fixion’.

However, Norwegian acts APOPTYGMA BERZERK and ELECTRO SPECTRE ensured the Swedes, Finns and Danes did not have it all their own way.

Greece was still the word with LIEBE, KID MOXIE and MARSHEAUX all presenting brand new releases, while SARAH P. maintained her profile with a series of inventive promo videos highlighting the ongoing issues of equality for women within the music industry. Embracing the same issue on the other side of the Atlantic, I AM SNOW ANGEL immersed herself in setting up the FEMALE FREQUENCY collective while also releasing her own music.

2016 was a good year for female acts with EMIKA, KALEIDA, ANI GLASS, THE HEARING, KITE BASE, KATJA VON KASSEL, HOLOGRAM TEEN and VOI VANG among those making a positive impression. There was also ‘SVIIB’, the final album from SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS and the emergence of CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS, while LADYHAWKE remembered what a good album sounded like with ‘Wild Things’.

night-club-requiem-for-romance-2016Over in LA, NIGHT CLUB developed on the promise of their EP trilogy and got a bit heavier on their debut long player ‘Requiem For Romance’, ending up sounding not unlike Britney fronting NINE INCH NAILS in the process!

After gestation periods of nearly six years, both EKKOES and THE MYSTIC UNDERGROUND finally released their debut albums.

Meanwhile the instrumental front, Texan couple HYPERBUBBLE provided some ‘Music To Color By’, Brussels duo METROLAND touchingly paid tribute to their late friend Louis Zachert with ‘Things Will Never Sound The Same Again’ and ULRICH SCHNAUSS went ‘No Further Ahead Than Today’. And MOBY offered a gift to profound relaxation with his free ‘Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.’ download package.

PERTURBATOR James Kent - Photo David FittPERTURBATOR’s ‘The Uncanny Valley’ became a flag bearer for the synth wave movement, along with the acclaimed soundtrack by SURVIVE members Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein for the absorbing Netflix drama ‘Stranger Things’.

Less well-received though was ‘2Square’ by VINCE CLARKE & PAUL HARTNOLL with its banal experiments in electro swing.

This was a supposed new dance sub-genre that in reality was just computerised jazz… nice! But one artist who did manage to pull off fusing synthpop and jazz successfully was DISQO VOLANTE.

New material from veterans MESH, AESTHETIC PERFECTION, ASSEMBLAGE 23, DE/VISION, IAMX, COVENANT and ROTERSAND kept the black clad European audiences happy, while MARI KATTMAN and BLACK NEEDLE NOISE added some trip-hop and rock edges respectively to their already dark templates. Expressing slightly less intensity were two surprise packages in Germany’s DAS BLAUE PALAIS with ‘Welt Am Draht’ and Canada’s DELERIUM with ‘Mythologie’.

marc-almond-blueBut totally unexpected was ‘Silver City Ride’, a full length electro album from MARC ALMOND in collaboration with STARCLUSTER featuring his most synth laden body of work since SOFT CELL.

The biggest surprise of 2016 was ‘Fly’ the soundtrack souvenir to ‘Eddie The Eagle’, the light hearted biopic of the bespectacled Olympic ski jumper; featuring new material by members of FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD, SOFT CELL, SPANDAU BALLET, ULTRAVOX, ERASURE and OMD in collaboration with TAKE THAT’s Gary Barlow, this looked like a terrible idea on paper.

But it was brilliantly executed and the resultant album was a largely enjoyable collection of retro flavoured pop.

Electronic acts actually got to headline the Glastonbury Festival in 2016, albeit on The Other Stage as opposed the main event; NEW ORDER and CHVRCHES wowed the crowds when they shared the bill on the Saturday night. There were rumours that KRAFTWERK and DEPECHE MODE might feature in 2017 but this was not to be, although both acts sent social media into overdrive when they announced major tours.

Among those accorded career spanning multi-disc boxed sets were ERASURE, MARC ALMOND, DEAD OR ALIVE and THE HUMAN LEAGUE. Somehow though, SIMPLE MINDS managed to milk a six disc variant of ‘New Gold Dream’ in the third of their classic album deluxe box editions; it was an amazing feat seeing as only ten songs were completed during the original sessions! The collection boasted no less than twelve takes of the aptly titled ‘Promised You A Miracle’; but the latest incarnation of the Glaswegians combo’ first big hit with KT TUNSTALL for their ‘Acoustic’ album proved to be one version too many.

Associates-dempsey-mackenzie-rankine-getty2Much better value for the money for the discerning music fan were the four ASSOCIATES double CD reissues, supervised by Alan Rankine and Michael Dempsey. Based around their first three albums and a ‘Very Best Of’ compilation, each additionally featured a plethora of rare and previously unreleased songs; they were a fitting tribute to the late Billy MacKenzie.

Nostalgia was very much a part of 2016, with HEAVEN 17, OMD and PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT all touring popular albums. And following the success in recent years of retro festivals such as ‘Rewind’ and the strangely named ‘Let’s Rock’, classic synthpop finally found itself part of the holiday camp circuit.

Part of the Butlins Music Weekender series, ‘Electric Dreams’ featuring OMD, MARC ALMOND, HEAVEN 17, BLANCMANGE and HOLLY JOHNSON almost went badly off-piste with the addition of GO WEST and THE ZOMBIES (!?!) to the programme. But the organisers pulled an unexpected surprise and booked modern synth acts like MARSHEAUX and AVEC SANS to support the bill.

avec-sansHardened retro festival goers are notorious for not embracing new music, but this ethos has to be welcomed and could provide an interesting new model for the future of event based entertainment. However, based on photographic evidence, the presence of inflatable pink flamingos and coloured wigs indicated the crowd atmosphere might have been no different to any of the usual nostalgia outings, but with a roof and central heating added!

Elsewhere, the second ELECTRI-CITY CONFERENCE in Düsseldorf boasted yet another impressive line-up that read like a ‘Who’s Who?’ of electronic music with JOHN FOXX, DANIEL MILLER and MARK REEDER among those taking part in talks. One of the highlights of the weekend came with Mr Foxx chatting about working with the legendary Conny Plank.

And while TEC004 featuring MARSHEAUX, KID KASIO and RODNEY CROMWELL was not in the same league, it was a fine showcase for the best in independent synthpop.

john-foxx-marsheauxBoth events proved again that the best electronic music events are those actually curated by electronic music enthusiasts, something that is not the case with several other events.

In all, 2016 was not a vintage year for electronic pop. If there was a lesson this year, it’s been to cherish and appreciate great life’s moments where possible, especially with the number of music figures that have been lost in the last 12 months.

Things cannot go on forever sadly…


PAUL BODDY

Best Album: PERTURBATOR The Uncanny Valley
Best Song: SOULWAX Transient Program for Drums & Machinery
Best Gig: JEAN-MICHEL JARRE at London O2 Arena
Best Video: BATTLE TAPES featuring PARTY NAILS Solid Gold
Most Promising New Act: VOX LOW


IAN FERGUSON

Best Album: VILE ELECTRODES In The Shadows Of Monuments
Best Song: ASSEMBLAGE 23 Barren
Best Gig: ASSEMBLAGE 23 at Denver Oriental Theatre
Best Video: I AM SNOW ANGEL Losing Face
Most Promising New Act: VOX LOW


SIMON HELM

Best Album: ERIC RANDOM Words Made Flesh
Best Song: RATIONAL YOUTH This Side Of The Border
Best Gig: Troika! featuring KITE BASE, HANNAH PEEL + I SPEAK MACHINE at Shacklewell Arms
Best Video: I AM SNOW ANGEL Losing Face
Most Promising New Act: ZANIAS


CHI MING LAI

Best Album: VILLA NAH Ultima
Best Song: VILE ELECTRODES The Vanished Past
Best Gig: JEAN-MICHEL JARRE at London O2 Arena
Best Video: BEYOND THE WIZARD’S SLEEVE Diagram Girl
Most Promising New Act: ANI GLASS


STEPHEN ROPER

Best Album: MARSHEAUX Ath.Lon
Best Song: RODNEY CROMWELL Baby Robot
Best Gig: GARY NUMAN at Norwich UEA
Best Video: MARSHEAUX Like A Movie
Most Promising New Act: DISQO VOLANTE


MONIKA IZABELA TRIGWELL

Best Album: APOPTYGMA BERZERK Exit Popularity Contest
Best Song: KID KASIO Full Moon Blue
Best Gig: SPEAK & SPELL at Islington Academy
Best Video: BLACK NEEDLE NOISE featuring JENNIE VEE Heaven
Most Promising New Act: JOHAN BAECKSTRÖM


Text by Chi Ming Lai
17th December 2016

The Electricty Club’s 30 SONGS OF 2016

Overall, 2016 was not a vintage year, but there were plenty of quality songs on offer throughout the year and a number were significantly outstanding.

Rounding down to a final 30 songs is always difficult and among the acts in the initial shortlist were ADAM IS A GIRL, BRIAN ENO, DELERIUM, EMIKA, KALEIDA, LADYHAWKE, METROLAND, PRESENCE OF MIND, REIN, FIFI RONG, SPRAY, WHITE LIES and the now disbanded ANALOG ANGEL.

After much deliberation and with a restriction of one song per artist moniker, here are The Electricity Club’s 30 Songs of 2016 in alphabetical order…


APOPTYGMA BERZERK Rhein Klang

apop_exit_artFuturepop veteran Stephan Groth certainly put his head on the line releasing an instrumental Sci-Fi concept album as an APOPTYGMA BERZERK long player. But with influences like KRAFTWERK, TANGERINE DREAM and JEAN-MICHEL JARRE, ‘Exit Popularity Contest’ was an undoubted artistic success and perhaps what ‘MG’ should have sounded like. Full of Groth’s electronic lifeblood, ‘Rhein Klang’ was a wonderful oscillating slice of synth motorik in tribute to NEU!

Available on the album ‘Exit Popularity Contest’ via Hard: Drive

http://www.theapboffice.com/


JOHAN BAECKSTROM Like Before

johan-baeckstrom-like-beforeJOHAN BAECKSTRÖM has been involved in electronic music for several decades, but it wasn’t until 1994 that he gained recognition as part of DAILY PLANET with vocalist Jarmo Ollila. His first album ‘Like Before’ in 2015 drew favourable comparisons to Vince Clarke. A competent vocalist himself, the long player’s title song got a standalone release in 2016 and instantly recalled the glory days of ERASURE with its precise, yet emotive synthpop with a message to “swim the oceans like before”.

Available on the album ‘Like Before’ via Progress Productions

https://www.facebook.com/bstrommusic/


BATTERY OPERATED ORCHESTRA Radiation

BOO-Radiation_coverartCrossing CRYSTAL CASTLES with YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA, the husband and wife DIY duo BATTERY OPERATED ORCHESTRA released their first album ‘Incomplete Until Broken’ in 2014. Inspired by a poltergeist experience after a gig in Hamburg, the ‘Radiation’ album’s title song synthetically apes WIRE and TUBEWAY ARMY as it searches for its shadow in vain. Yes, there are musical references to the past, but the tune is fully Battery Operated.

Available on the album ‘Radiation’ via https://batteryoperatedorchestra.bandcamp.com/

http://batteryoperatedorchestra.com/


BEYOND THE WIZARD’S SLEEVE Diagram Girl

BEYOND THE WIZZARD’S SLEEVE Diagram GirlPossibly one of the songs of 2016, BEYOND THE WIZARDS SLEEVE’s ‘Diagram Girl’ was the work of Erol Alkan and Richard Norris, formally of THE GRID. Featuring the unisex vocals of HANNAH PEEL, a deeper pitch shift provided a psychedelic out-of-this-world feel which bizarrely fitted in alongside the songstress’ dreamily breathy tones. Meanwhile the pulsing electronic soundtrack had surreal echoes of OMD, in particular their lesser known minor hit ‘Secret’.

Available on the album ‘The Soft Bounce’ via Phantasy Sound

https://www.facebook.com/beyondthewizardssleeve/


BLACK NEEDLE NOISE featuring KENDRA FROST Warning Sign

black-needle-noise-warning-signIt can be tricky keeping up with the prolific studio legend John Fryer. Following the critical success of his projects MURICIDAE and SILVER GHOST SHIMMER, BLACK NEEDLE NOISE employed a flexible lead vocal policy and did away with the idea of albums or EPs, focussing on just single songs. Magically breathy, ‘Warning Sign’ employed the soaring vocals of Kendra Frost from KITE BASE against a spacious backdrop of synths, beats and guitars for a brooding sonic amalgam.

Available as a download single via https://blackneedlenoise.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/BlackNeedleNoise/

https://www.facebook.com/kitebasemusic/


CIRCUIT3 Hundred Hands

CIRCUIT3 siliconchipsuperstarWith the sort of mighty Linn Drum engine room that would make Martyn Ware proud and punctuated with some rugged lead synth, ‘Hundred Hands’ was the best track on CIRCUIT3’s debut album. The work of Dublin based musician Peter Fitzpatrick, he even dropped in hints of KRAFTWERK’s ‘Showroom Dummies’ by way of a musical tribute. The parent album ‘siliconchipsuperstar’ was classic styled synthpop made by someone weaned on classic synthpop.

Available on the album ‘siliconchipsuperstar’ via https://circuit3.bandcamp.com/

http://www.circuit3.com/


RUSTY EGAN PRESENTS Thank You

rusty-egan-presents-wttdfThe elegiac ‘Thank You’ utilised some ‘Endless Endless’ vocodered stylings over layers of sweeping synthetic strings and a gentle metronomic pulse. A list of RUSTY EGAN’s musical heroes and associated beneficiaries in no particular order, this tone poem was a touching acknowledgement of electronic music’s marvellous history. A simple yet highly effective idea, the beauty is in its realisation. Appropriately, it ends with a touchingly poignant “VISAGE… thank you”.

Available on the album ‘Welcome To The Dancefloor’ via Black Mosaic from
http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/rusty-egan-welcome-to-the-dancefloor

http://rustyegan.net/


JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS A Man & A Woman

JOHN FOXX 21st Century A previously unreleased song for a compilation of Foxx’s song based work in the new millennium, ‘A Man & A Woman’ was a surprise in that it was less rigid than previous JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS recordings. Featuring some enchanting whispers from the seemingly ubiquitous HANNAH PEEL, it was an interesting departure that even featured some subtle acoustic guitar flourishes. Foxx’s work is still under-appreciated, so for many ‘21st Century: A Man, A Woman And A City’ provided an opportunity to catch up.

Available on the album ’21st Century: A Man, A Woman And A City’ via Metamatic Records

http://www.metamatic.com/


ANI GLASS Y Ddawns

Ani Glass - Y Ddawns (photo by Rhodri Brooks)Welsh songstress ANI GLASS served her apprenticeship with girl groups GENIE QUEEN and THE PIPETTES and worked with Andy McCluskey and Martin Rushent respectively along the way. ‘Y Ddawns’ (‘The Dance’) was a wonderfully exhilarating pop art adventure. Swathed in synths and driven by a metronomic beat, it was a declaration of hope, deeply voiced in the verse with a gorgeous soaring resonance in the chorus, about “finding solace and meaning in music, dance, art and culture”.

‘Y Ddawns’ is available as a download single from https://aniglass.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/aniglasscymru/


THE HEARING Kabeldon

the hearing2016Helsinki-based Ringa Manner has been making crystalline sine waves as THE HEARING. Her second album ‘Adrian’ boasted the sub-eight minute epic ‘Kabeldon’. A outstanding electronic work with an affinity to Norwegian songstress SUSANNE SUNDFØR, there were also bows to DAVID BOWIE’s ‘I’m Deranged’ when the mad cascading piano kicked in alongside the frantic drum ‘n’ bass and steadily building cacophony of noise. Then, when it appeared all over, the song mutated into an eloquent Nordic dubstep ballad!

Available on the album ‘Adrian’ via Solina Records

https://www.facebook.com/Ringasofi/


I AM SNOW ANGEL Losing Face

I AM SNOW ANGEL DesertThe project of Julie Kathryn, the haunting tension of ‘Losing Face’ accentuates a variety of electronic and organic colours. A muted chop’ n’ chuck provides the percussive backbone while an eerie soundscape is steadily configured as Kathryn succumbs to lust. “You’re different when you’re on top of me… how I hate the state I’m in” she paradoxically reflects, as bubbling detuned synth swirls and acoustic guitar penetrate the foreboding atmosphere in the vein of ‘Felt Mountain’ era GOLDFRAPP.

Available on the EP ‘Desert’ via I Am Snow Angel

http://iamsnowangel.com/


JEAN-MICHEL JARRE & CYNDI LAUPER Swipe To The Right

Jarre-electronica2After decades of composing lengthy synth symphonies, there must have been times when the France maestro must have just wanted to do a four minute pop tune. This JEAN-MICHEL JARRE managed in a quirky collaboration with Brooklyn’s CYNDI LAUPER. No stranger to electronic forms, particularly with her under rated ‘Bring Ya To The Brink’ album of 2007, ‘Swipe To The Right’ had big bass riffs galore for a great poptastic exploration, while reflecting on the use of Tinder in modern relationships.

Available on the album ‘Electronica 2: The Heart Of Noise’ via Columbia / Sony Music

http://jeanmicheljarre.com/

http://www.cyndilauper.com/


KID MOXIE Still High

KID MOXIE Perfect ShadowKID MOXIE is Elena Charbila, the Greek born singer and actress who likes to make music with friends. Working best in collaboration, her well-received album ‘1888’ showed she had blossomed and displayed an inventive maturity following the gutter pop of her early releases. From her best body of work yet in ‘Perfect Shadow’, the seductive ‘Still High’ was gloriously cinematic synthpop with a touch of maiden iciness that affirmed this artistic progression.

Available on the mini-album ‘Perfect Shadow’ is via West One Music Group

http://www.facebook.com/kidmoxie


LIEBE The Box

Liebe cover frontOne-time label mates of MARSHEAUX, LIEBE are the electro disco duo comprising of George Begas and Dimos Zachariadis who could be considered the Greek PET SHOP BOYS. Sitting on that difficult bridge between pastiche and post-modern, their romantic disco friendly sound mines Europop while adding the vocal drawl of Jarvis Cocker. The magnificent JEAN-MICHEL JARRE goes Italo disco of ’The Box’ was the highlight of their wonderfully escapist pop album ‘Revolution Of Love’.

Available on the album ‘Revolution Of Love’ via Emerald & Doreen Recordings

http://www.liebe.gr


MARSHEAUX Burning

Marsheaux-Ath.Lon_Cover1500Recorded in London and Athens, a new approach saw MARSHEAUX’s trademark wispiness blended in with a subtle tone of aggression. The opening song on ‘Ath.Lon’, the album title of which was derived from the cities of Athens and London, ‘Burning’ was a harsh but sexy slice of synth expressionism. While clearly referencing darker electronica forms with its hypnotising percussive motif, it crucially maintained the essence of a good tune.

Available on the album ‘Ath.Lon’ via Undo Records

http://www.marsheaux.com/


MESH The Fixer

MESH-Looking-SkywardWith their new album ‘Looking Skyward’, MESH alleviated any fears that they might not be able to sustain the artistic momentum seeded by 2013’s ‘Automation Baby’. Despite the lyrically negative nature of ‘The Fixer’, a driving bass triplet attached to a solid four-to-the-floor beat and an anthemic topline shed a light of optimism amongst the gloom. MESH have firmly carved their own niche and any disillusioned DEPECHE MODE fans should consider joining the fold immediately…

Available on the album ‘Looking Skyward’ via Dependent Records

http://www.mesh.co.uk/


NIGHT CLUB Pray

night-club-requiem-for-romanceBuoyed by the acclaim of their EP trilogy and their power as a live act, NIGHT CLUB experimented with a more aggressive synth rock disco sound for their debut long player ‘Requiem For Romance’. Playing around with a range of unsettling vocal pitch shifts and religious imagery for the sinister overtones of ‘Pray’, Emily Kavanaugh and Mark Brooks have more than substantiated their position as one of North America’s best independent electronic pop duos.

Available on the album ‘Requiem For Romance’ via Gato Blanco from http://nightclubband.com/album/requiem-for-romance

http://nightclubband.com/


HANNAH PEEL All That Matters

HANNAH PEEL Awake But Always DreamingIt’s been a busy year for HANNAH PEEL; layered with staccato voice samples and uplifting bursts of symphonic strings, the driving arpeggio laden ‘All That Matters’ was her calling card, not just as her most synthpop offering yet but also as a mantra to live in the moment. The opening track of her second album ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’, her very personal musical journey themed around memory and the effects of dementia was a startling artistic triumph.

Available on the album ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’ My Own Pleasure

http://www.hannahpeel.com


PET SHOP BOYS The Dictator Decides

petshopboys-superNever mind their age, PET SHOP BOYS are still ‘The Pop Kids’ and ‘Twenty-something’ ones at that. But on the moodier ‘The Dictator Decides’, there comes one of those politically laced introspective numbers in the vein of ‘My October Symphony’ and ‘Don Juan’ that Tennant and Lowe always do so well. As Tennant deadpans “if you get rid of me, we can all be free”, the song provides an amusing surreal narrative of a tyrannical politician bored of his outright power and wanting to live a normal life.

Available on the album ‘Super’ via x2

http://www.petshopboys.co.uk/


PSYCHE Ring The Bells

Heresy-A Tribute To RATIONAL YOUTHFrom the Cold War Night Life curated ‘Heresy: A Tribute To Rational Youth’, one of the highlights from the collection is PSYCHE’s take on ‘Ring The Bells’ from appropriately, RATIONAL YOUTH’s ‘Cold War Night Life’ debut. The clattering 808 beat and elegantly haunting sweeps combined with Darrin Huss’ mournful vocal provide an atmospheric reworking that betters the original and reflects the decades long kinship between RATIONAL YOUTH and PSYCHE.

Available on the album ‘Heresy: A Tribute To Rational Youth’ (V/A) via Cold War Night Life from http://www.stormingthebase.com/various-heresy-a-tribute-to-rational-youth-3lp-vinyl-2cd/

http://www.psyche-hq.de/


SARAH P. I’d Go

SARAH P FreeGreek electropop goddess SARAH P. started her music career as the frontwoman of KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS. With ‘I’d Go’ she said: “Most of the people do not get that this song is not as happy as it sounds at a first listen”. In her own words she confesses: “I’m a childish woman and nobody can stop me from being one” and adds “If there’s anything I stand for with all my heart is the ‘Go be you’ motto!” – her full length debut long player ‘Who Am I?’ is eagerly awaited.

Available on the mini-album ‘Free’ via EraseRestart

http://sarahpofficial.com/


SILENT WAVE War

SILENT WAVE WarEnigmatic Gothenburg electronic trio SILENT WAVE possess the hauntronica hallmarks of fellow Swedes THE KNIFE. ‘War’ is a reminder of how that sibling duo once combined tunes with their experimentation. With a suitably dark Nordic vibe, it could easily have come off ‘Silent Shout’ and while the template is undoubtedly derivative, ‘War’ is extremely well executed.

Available on the download single ‘War’ via Silence Records

https://www.facebook.com/silentwaveofficial/


STARCLUSTER & MARC ALMOND To Have & Have Not

starcluster-marc-almond-silver-city-rideWith his career spanning 10 CD box set ‘Trials Of Eyeliner: Anthology 1979-2016’, the last thing anyone expected from MARC ALMOND this year was an electronic pop album. Almond first recorded with Anglo German production duo STARCLUSTER in 2008. A great cover version, ‘To Have & Have Not’ was originally recorded by RONNY and retains the stern manner of the former Parisian model, while giving this slice of modern Weimar Cabaret a new lease of life.

Available on the album ‘Silver City Ride’ via Closing the Circle / Private Records

http://www.marcalmond.co.uk/


TINY MAGNETIC PETS Not Giving In

TINY MAGNETIC PETS The Nato Alphabet EPAn appearance at the 2015 ELECTRI_CITY_CONFERENCE in Düsseldorf reinforced TINY MAGNETIC PETS’ reputation as an intriguing live act by winning over figures such as Rusty Egan and Andy McCluskey. The soulful ‘Not Giving In’ makes the most of Paula Gilmer’s enticingly wispy voice. With detuned pulses contrasting the digital chimes and staccato voice samples, an unusual stuttering reggae inflected beat enhances the atmosphere.

Available on the EP ‘The NATO Alphabet’ via https://tinymagneticpets.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Tiny-Magnetic-Pets-69597715797/


TRAIN TO SPAIN Believe In Love

TRAIN TO SPAIN Believe In LoveHighly exuberant and featuring a poptastic four chord progression, ‘Believe In Love’ was TRAIN TO SPAIN’s first recording to feature producer Lars Netzel aka NOT LARS as a full-time member. It developed on the promise of songs like ‘Passion’ from their debut album ‘What it’s All About’ released in 2015 and significantly gave more space within Jonas Rasmusson’s classic synthpop framework for lead singer Helena Wigeborn to exude her charm in. But it seems TRAIN TO SPAIN are back to a duo again…

Available on the download single ‘Believe In Love’ via Subculture Records

http://www.traintospain.se/


TRENTEMØLLER River In Me

TRENTEMØLLER River In Me‘River In Me’ was an unusual TRENTEMØLLER recording in that Jehnny Beth from SAVAGES actually came to his home studio in Copenhagen to lay down her vocals. The end result possessed a Gothic intensity, yet was vibrant and melodic with Beth’s Siouxsie-like tones complimenting the hybrid synth laced soundscape. While some complained that ‘River In Me’ was not as dark as the Dane’s previous work, it was his most immediate offering yet with a fine balance of accessibility and mood.

Available on the album ‘Fixion’ via In My Room

http://www.anderstrentemoller.com/


VILE ELECTRODES The Vanished Past

vile-electrodes-in-the-shadows-of-monumentsIt’s the avant pop approach reminiscent of early OMD that sets VILE ELECTRODES apart from and makes them so captivating. ‘The Vanished Past’ is a potent successor to the drama of ‘Deep Red’, complete with a mighty drum cacophony à la OMD’s ‘Navigation’. Bleak and wonderful, “not everything is as it seems” as a forlorn stranger joins in. As the seven minute adventure unfolds like a lost OMD epic, that stranger begins to sound like a certain George Andrew McCluskey!

Available on the album ‘In The Shadows Of Monuments’ via http://vileelectrodes.bigcartel.com/

http://www.vileelectrodes.com/


VILLA NAH Stranger

villa-nah_ultimaFrom their superb second album ‘Ultima’, ‘Stranger’ was a brilliant return for VILLA NAH after a five year absence. Front man Juho Paalosmaa said: “‘Stranger’ is a play on words; how somebody you’ve known can turn stranger over the span of time… and end up as a complete stranger in the process. I don’t think it’s a track I would’ve written as a 20 year old. It requires some years of age and experience to really understand how time can change people, including yourself.”

Available on the album ‘Ultima’ via Solina Records

https://www.facebook.com/villanah/


WRANGLER Stupid

wrangler-stupidIf CABARET VOLTAIRE had hijacked Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas while TALKING HEADS were recording ‘Speaking In Tongues’, the end result might have ended up sounding a bit like this. ‘Stupid’ sees Stephen Mallinder in warped falsetto mode over a hypnotic sequence of menacing synths from Benge and Phil Winter. The track’s rhythmic heart creates an almost robotic, yet electro-funk feel for one of the undoubted highlights on WRANGLER‘s ‘White Glue’ album.

Available on the album ‘White Glue’ via MemeTune

https://www.facebook.com/mallinderbengewinter/


YELLO Electrified II

Yellow-Toy-Album-CoverDespite 37 years of making music together, the distinctive sound of YELLO remains intriguing and distinctly European and the new album ‘Toy’ delighted fans. On the superb ‘Electrified II’ (the original version appeared on Boris Blank’s boxed set of the same name), Dieter Meier has his mind blown by the velvet voice of Malia. As she exclaims “Life’s a bitch and I’m no witch”, this could be Shirley Bassey indulging in some seductive energetic electro-cabaret.

Available on the album ‘Toy’ via Polydor / Universal Music

http://yello.com


Text by Chi Ming Lai
8th December 2016

SARAH P. Golden Deer

Greek songstress SARAH P. recently said that her debut release ‘Free’ was a love letter to her inner psyche.

Sarah-P-Golden-Deer-StillVaried and enticing, ‘Free’ is a vivid commentary on relationships and politics, combining pop and leftfield aspirations in a similar vein to SANTIGOLD or GOLDFRAPP.

And with her latest single ‘Golden Deer’, subtle GOLDFRAPP references adorn this great slice of dreamy electronic disco.

Indeed, dreamy is an apt description as SARAH P. explained: “’Golden Deer’ was inspired by a dream I had about this deer leading me to a magical forest where everything was possible. I guess, following the deer symbolized tearing down the fences I’ve built around me because of my fears”. For her, the end result is “like an excited heart that’s pumping for the new beginnings”.

This enthused spirit is reflected in the visual presentation of ‘Golden Deer’ which comprises of not one, but three music videos directed by the Berlin based visual artists Schall & Schnabel. With instructions to “Decide how deep you want to dive into the dream…”, ‘ACT 1’ is charming and playful. But things get more cerebral for ‘ACT 2’, before the kaleidoscopic intensity of ‘ACT 3’.

Following first starting out in 2010 as the singer of KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS, there is still more to come from SARAH P. and her spooky yet captivating voice. She told The Electricity Club earlier this year: “My LP is already in the making. There is a whole concept behind it and I am very much looking forward to sharing it, although I’ve got to hold back and wait!”

And good things come to those who wait.


With thanks to Robert Helbig at Hellbig Music.

‘Golden Deer’ is from the mini-album ‘Free’ released by EraseRestart, available as a download via the usual digital outlets

The 12 inch vinyl edition is available from http://eraserestart.bigcartel.com/product/sarah-p-free-vinyl

http://sarahpofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sarahpofficial/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
28th July 2016

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