Best known as ULTRAVOX’s classically trained virtuoso instrumentalist, BILLY CURRIE is back with a new solo album ‘Doppel’.

Following the sharp, spikier aesthetics of tracks like ‘Jump Spin’ on ‘Balletic Transcend’ in 2013, ‘Doppel’ is a more pastoral instrumental collection, with Currie’s trademark synths, viola, violin and classical piano all present and correct. Cascading synthetic strings are the metronomic backbone to the sub-seven minute ‘Neoteric Slip’, a lively orchestrated cacophony of sound with a screeching, passionate violin interlude add some tension to proceedings.

A familiar template makes an appearance with swimmy chorused string machine and tinkling ivories alongside prominent synth rock textures and a four-to-the floor rhythm construction for the ULTRAVOX flavoured ‘Tremolo Shudder’.

The beautifully filmic ‘Silver Tongued’ takes a lonely piano and sprinkles its surroundings with the occasional drop of space dust while the progressive ‘Doppel’ title track with its phased percussion and staccato voice samples provides another steadfast canvas for Currie to apply his violin and piano magic.

Taking things down, ‘In Full Cry’ explores other worldly territory not far off the late Japanese trailblazer TOMITA before the optimistically uptempo ‘Gleam’ and the expressive bowed exordiums of ‘Viola Reach’.

The brilliant ‘Glibberig’ enters the colder mechanical territory of former bandmate JOHN FOXX before a sudden increase of tempo two minutes in which allows Currie to ply his distinctive piano.

With ‘Stymie’ providing a suitably stylized close, ‘Doppel’ is an enjoyable body of work that will appeal to those who will appreciate an intriguing electro classical fusion that sets itself apart from synthpop or dance.

‘Doppel’ is available as a download through the usual digital outlets and on CD-R via Amazon On-Demand

Text by Chi Ming Lai
5th June 2016