Tag: Hannah Peel (Page 2 of 8)


Arranged, co-produced and mixed with Benge at the latter’s Memetune Studios in Cornwall, the new BLANCMANGE album ‘Wanderlust’ is focussed on “the pretence of a normal world being erased.”

BLANCMANGE’s first phase produced just three albums ‘Happy Families’, ‘Mange Tout’ and ‘Believe You Me’ before art college friends Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe parted ways amicably in 1987.

But since his 21st Century return in 2011 with ‘Blanc Burn’, frontman Neil Arthur has become possibly the most prolific man in electronic music. ‘Wanderlust’ is the sixth long player of this second phase and all this without including Neil Arthur’s side projects FADER and NEAR FUTURE or the ‘Happy Families Too’ rework.

Beginning with ‘Distant Storm’, this is an unusual but brilliant BLANCMANGE tune with its incessant dance beat, reverberant Moog bassline and dreamy processed vocoder aesthetic; with a rousing, almost spiritual quality, there are even elements of JAMES’ ‘Come Home’ creeping in for good measure.

Following on, ‘In Your Room’ is a great slice of vintage cold wave synth, with a vocoder aesthetic and an assortment of manipulated sounds.

The heavily percussive ‘I Smashed Your Phone’ uses noise and electronics to deal with the sensitive issue of domestic abuse, while the amusing ‘Gravel Drive Syndrome’ provides commentary on social climbing and keeping up with the Jones’ aided by an Eno-esque VCS3 joystick solo.

‘Talking To Machines’ deals with Arthur’s continuing love / hate relationship with smart phones and what is now becoming anti-social media, but also as he put it: “this Kafka-esque nightmare just to get to the person you want to talk to.”

Like a sombre Northern English KRAFTWERK, the marvellous metronomic ‘Not A Priority’ also adds the resonance of JEAN-MICHEL JARRE with some chilling string machine; “Be yourself, you can’t be anybody else” Arthur exclaims as Hannah Peel harmonises and counterpoints this marvellous concoction with her soprano stylings.

Inspired by the smarmy Victorian–minded politician and ‘Walter The Softy’ impersonator Jacob Rees-Mogg, the swirly robopop of ‘TV Debate’ captures Arthur’s anger at the state of the nation in a musical cross between PLASTIC ONO BAND and THE FLYING LIZARDS; “I’m creating imagery and now I’ve got politicians doing a conga, it’s a mess!” he reflected to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about the song, “We’re a nation who watch cookery programmes but can barely cook!”

Featuring David Rhodes on guitar, the heavier tones of ‘Leaves’, with its looming reverberant textures and discordant reverses, continues the gloomier mood before the Linn and guitar driven resignation of ‘White Circle, Black Space’. And with the aid of some haunting Vox Machina computer voices, the closing bittersweet title track explores the longing to be somewhere else while swathed in Roland vocoder towards the song’s conclusion.

“I’m catching up in what I think is unfinished business” Neil Arthur remarked on his artistic drive, “I’m just in a position where I’m experimenting all the time. I do what I want and it’s a bonus that some people like it.”

Possibly his best body of work as BLANCMANGE in its 21st Century incarnation, Neil Arthur has undoubtedly found comfort from working with Benge on what is effectively their third album together.

That comfort has also provided an appealing palette of electronic sounds that acts as a fine platform for his not-so-merry lyrical witticism.

‘Wanderlust’ is released by Blanc Check on 19th October 2018 in CD, vinyl LP and digital formats, available from http://blancmange.tmstor.es/

BLANCMANGE 2018 ‘Wanderlust’ tour includes:

Norwich Arts Centre (1st November), Nottingham Rescue Rooms (2nd November), Cardiff Acapela (3rd November), Bristol The Fleece (4th November), Darwen Library Theatre (7th November), 8 Edinburgh Voodoo Rooms (8th November), Glasgow Oran More (9th November), Newcastle The Cluny (10th November), Brighton The Old Market (15th November), Southampton Brook (16th November), Dover Booking Hall (17th November), Wolverhampton Robin 2 (22nd November), Gloucester Guild Hall (23rd November), Northampton Roadmender (24th November), Leeds The Wardrobe (29th November), Derby Flowerpot (30th November)





Text by Chi Ming Lai
22nd September 2018

Introducing FARAO

Berlin based Norwegian songstress and multi-instrumentalist FARAO could be next to follow her compatriot SUSANNE SUNDFØR onto the wider world stage with her brand of prog pop.

The musical vehicle of Kari Jahnsen, FARAO formally launches her second album ‘Pure-O’ with a self-directed and edited video for the captivating ‘Lula Loves You’, an electro driven number laced with sub-bass that is loosely inspired by the David Lynch film ‘Wild At Heart’.

The grainy stoic video gives ample opportunity for gear geeks to play ‘Name That Synth’ and showcases Jahnsen’s new found interest in collecting Soviet-built analogue instruments. Alongside a Formanta Polivoks duophonic, a Elektronika EM-25 string machine can be seen. Meanwhile better known vintage equipment like a Korg Delta and a Sequential Drumtraks also make an appearance.

‘Lula Loves You’ follows the superbly rousing trailer single ‘The Ghost Ship’ which was championed by Hannah Peel when she stood in for Guy Garvey on his BBC 6 Music radio show ‘Finest Hour’ in May. That particular song was about losing a sense of direction but it would seem artistically as least, Jahnsen is focussed, presenting ‘Pure-O’ as her statement on the “the curious dichotomy between beauty and destructiveness in sex and relationships”.

Combining vintage synths, harps, minimalism, disco and even a touch of R’n’B on ‘Pure-O’, FARAO adds some Cold War chic to develop further on that Nordic mystery which won acclaim for her quirky folk-tinged 2015 debut long player ‘Till It’s All Forgotten’.

‘Lula Loves You’ and ‘The Ghost Ship’ are from the album ‘Pure-O’ which will be released by Western Vinyl and Su Tissue Records on 19th October 2018 in transparent vinyl LP, black vinyl LP, CD and digital formats, pre-order from http://westernvinyl.com/shop/wv177

FARAO plays live at The Sebright Arms in London on Wednesday 17th October 2018





Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Maxime Imbert
8th August 2018

HANNAH PEEL Particles In Space

Having taken ‘Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia’ into the cosmos and beyond in her role as a modern day Delia Derbyshire or Daphne Oram, Hannah Peel continues her mission in blending the seemingly incongruous timbres of synthesizers and colliery brass bands.

An enjoyable melancholic exploration in sound, the parent album has been given the remix treatment under the collective title of ‘Particles In Space’ by a variety of underground electronic producers and artists, 80% of whom are female.

The original closing track ‘The Planet of Passed Souls’ acts as bookends to this collection. Entitled ‘Particle G1’, Erland Cooper keeps most of the elements which is not entirely surprising as he mixed ‘Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia’, but here adds a stuttered beat and a run of reversed cymbals.

Meanwhile, the ‘Particle G7’ by Die Hexen focusses on the vocal elements, beginning with the haunting 1928 recording of Peel’s own choirboy grandfather in Manchester Cathedral before adding the grandeur of gothic choirs and samples of Hannah Peel’s own angelic voice acting as an beautiful additional theme.

The biggest surprise is ‘Particle D2’, a reimagining by s a r a s a r a of ‘Andromeda M31’ comprising of tribal rhythms and a claustrophobic cacophony of glitched voices which bears no resemblance to its parent track.

‘Particle C3’, which is ‘Deep Space Cluster’ reworked by Marta Salogni, retains the key brass arpeggio while stripping away its percussive elements, although Hinako Omori’s take on ‘Sunrise Through The Dusty Nebula’ for ‘Particle B4’ goes further, turning it into almost a completely new composition with the hypnotic spacey ambience given a rhythmic base. The synthesized elements are pushed to the front to complement the sombre brass for an abstract but enjoyably avant piece of work.

Arvo Party’s ‘Particle E5’ takes ‘Life Is On The Horizon’ into an eerie layered soundscape with occasional brassy calls before building into a drone laden rumble, although the track’s key homing beacon motif has gone.

‘Particle F6’ sees Roseau emphasise and add to the synthbass characteristics of ‘Archid Orange Dwarf’ as well as dropping in some vocoder stylings for a cool futuristic adaptation.

‘Particles In Space’ is a mixed bag but then, remix collections always are. However, it does take the sonic exploration of Hannah Peel further, like seeking new life and new civilisations in the galaxy or incorporating the sounds of years old instruments into unique some places, to go where no instrument has gone before.

And if that doesn’t appeal, then Miss Peel’s songwriting development continues in parallel on the Minimoog heavy ‘Kiss Me First’, commissioned by Channel 4 for the virtual reality thriller of the same name.

‘Particles In Space’ is released digitally on 29th June 2018 via My Own Pleasure, available direct from https://hannahpeel.tmstor.es/cart/product.php?id=37199





Text by Chi Ming Lai
12th June 2018, 30th June 2018


An enjoyable melancholic exploration in sound, ‘Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia’ is an intriguing listen that experiments with and successfully blends seemingly incongruous timbres.

It is the work of HANNAH PEEL and tells the story of Mary Casio, a fictional elderly musical stargazer.

It musically documents her lifelong dream to leave her terraced home in the mining town of Barnsley to journey into space to see Cassiopeia, the constellation in the northern sky named after the vain queen in Greek mythology who boasted about her unrivalled beauty.

Featuring an array of analogue synthesizers and a 29-piece colliery brass band recorded live at the Barnsley Civic Theatre, it took Peel back to her youth when she played trombone in such bands. Indeed, the instrumental ‘Octavia’ from her second long player ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’ had showcased the format’s possibilities with its cascading woodwinds and brass combining with a buzzing barrage of electronics.

And after numerous dates around the UK, HANNAH PEEL brings ‘Journey To Cassiopeia’ to London for its biggest performance yet at the soon-to-be reopened Queen Elizabeth Hall at London’s South Bank Centre. The interstellar musical experience will contain striking visuals plus a performance of MIKE OLDFIELD’s ‘Tubular Bells’ by TUBULAR BRASS, the brass band that will be accompanying her for this concert.

Fresh from writing the music for a new stage adaptation of ‘Brighton Rock’ and collaborating with Paul Weller, HANNAH PEEL kindly took time out to talk about how the ‘Journey To Cassiopeia’ has lifted off…

A synth / brass band concept album was quite a way out idea but you’ve been vindicated…

Ha thank you, phew! Yes I suppose you can’t tell if something will work, but knowing colliery brass bands so well from my childhood I knew their limitations deep down, so it felt very natural to really play with the missing frequencies on the synths. It worked live first and foremost. I didn’t know if that would work recording wise though. Live at every show, extraordinarily countless audience members have told me they couldn’t stop crying at the overpowering force of sound that resonates in the air. Even I get a lump in the throat every time.

Why do you think that the plaudits warmed to ‘Journey To Cassiopeia’?

I suppose maybe because it hasn’t ever been done before? I’m so thankful they have warmed! I’ve really tried to not only follow my own artistic journey delving further into the mind with the story behind the record, but also take that traditional colliery brass band sound into a new realm too. Move them on from the lonely bandstand in a park on a rainy Sunday.

The album was recorded live in Barnsley, did you need to do many takes to get the vibe you wanted?

Luckily we had performed the album live three times in full before at concerts, so the players were really fine tuned to the movement of the piece. There was only at most two takes per track, all finished within three hours. It was recorded in one of the first theatres I ever went to when we moved to Yorkshire, The Civic in Barnsley… refurbished now, but it felt dreamlike to be back there.

‘Life Is On The Horizon’ gently rings like a beacon signalling home…

I love that Flugal horn solo. Alexandra Kenyon plays it so beautifully. Originally it was all made on the Korg Mono/Poly, a broken one too. The two synths lines interweaving together needed to be brought to life with breath and she does that perfectly. The Flugal horn is my favourite instrument in the brass band.

The closing track ‘The Planet Of Passed Souls’ is quite poignant, featuring your grandfather as a choirboy. It had a lovely ‘New World Symphony’ feel about it…

Yes recorded in 1927 in Manchester Cathedral – he was one of the first choirboys ever to make a recording. Apparently the label were not happy with the recording quality so they went back to re-record, but his voice had just broken. I ripped it off YouTube! I’d love to get the original from somewhere.

After finding that sample though and finishing the track it felt like this was the planet that Mary Casio would first set her feet on. With wind and rain much like earth, the alien landscape starts to become more surreal drawing out audio memories from her brain and dispelling them into the air.
I couldn’t write anymore after this, it felt like the end of either Mary’s life on earth or her waking from a daydream, or maybe she actually went there and we just loose contact…

Photo by Chris Turner

When you last spoke to us in Summer 2016, you were talking about releasing ‘Journey To Cassiopeia’ as Mary Casio, but of course, it has since been released under your own name?

Yes that’s right. I suppose when I started to research deeper into why I had even written the album and what relationship it had to ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’, I realised they were intrinsically linked.

Whenever I had seen petri dishes full of brain neurons by scientists researching Alzheimer’s disease, I couldn’t get over how looking down the microscope felt like staring up at the starry night sky.

You’ll be performing ‘Journey To Cassiopeia’ at the re-opening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank. Will this performance differ from the other live presentations that have been taking place since the album’s release?

It will be with the full 29 piece Colliery Brass band and myself on synths. Joining us will be Dan Conway on live interactive visuals and it will be the first full London show of this album and ‘Tubular Bells’.

How do the brass band players feel about playing in unison with your electronics?

Now we have it nailed, it’s really great fun, especially if you can feel the Moog’s sub bass rumbling under the stage, knocking music off stands etc. But in the beginning I’m not sure they enjoyed it at all! In our first rehearsals, not only was it new to them as a genre but it was hard for me too to get the right balance and get my old synths to work right. So coupled with terrible speakers they had a lot to deal with, I’ve since opted for newer versions for stress alleviation.

Photo by George Gibbon

You opened for ALISON MOYET last Autumn, what was that like and how did her audience take to you?

I had brilliant time on tour with Alison and her crew. It was slightly strange at first playing in sit down theatres – hard to judge an audience and feel what was happening beyond the lights, but I got used to it and had an incredible time. Her fans were very welcoming and I learnt a lot from Alison too. She’s such a magnificent force.

How did you find trying to effectively promote both ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’ and ‘Journey To Cassiopeia’ in 2017?

Ah yes that was very tricky for my mental headspace. I didn’t expect there to be such a strong overlap a year on from ‘Awake But Always Dreaming’. It was good though that they are both so different so it made it easier in a sense to compartmentalise.

Where are you heading next musically? Will it be songs again or would you fancy doing something like Eno’s ‘Another Green World’ and have a fair portion of instrumentals between more conventional ‘song’ material?

That’s my favourite Eno record actually! I have no idea where this next year will lead me album wise. There is a lot of commissioned composing work that has come along that I’m very excited about. I’ve just finished my first choir piece with synths that will debut in April in Hull and I’ve also just finished writing the music for a new stage adaptation of Graham Greene’s ‘Brighton Rock’ which is now touring until June. I’m learning something new every day and it feels extremely challenging yet happily rewarding too at the same time.

Photo by Simon Godley

You demonstrated an old EDP Wasp synth on BBC Radio 3’s ‘The Listening Service’, where did you find it and have you added any more hardware to your armoury of late?

Oh she’s a beauty and I found her on a Facebook page for selling and swapping synths. I now have a Roland Jupiter 4 too this year and saving up for a wonderful Italian modular synth… the old car is just going to have to survive that bit longer.

ELECTRICITY CLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to HANNAH PEEL

‘Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia’ is released by My Own Pleasure in vinyl, CD and digital formats, available from https://hannahpeel.tmstor.es/

HANNAH PEEL performs ‘Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia’ at Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank on Saturday 14th April 2018, tickets available from https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/125635-hannah-peel-tubular-brass-2018





Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai
15th March 2018

2017 End Of Year Review

Oscillate Mildly

The world found itself in a rather antagonistic and divisive state this year, as if none of the lessons from the 20th Century’s noted conflicts and stand-offs had been learnt.

Subtle political messages came with several releases; honorary Berliner Mark Reeder used the former divided city as symbolism to warn of the dangers of isolationism on his collaborative album ‘Mauerstadt’. Meanwhile noted Francophile Chris Payne issued the ELECTRONIC CIRCUS EP ‘Direct Lines’ with its poignant warning of nuclear apocalypse in its title song. The message was to unite and through music as one of the best platforms.

After a slow start to 2017, there was a bumper crop of new music from a number of established artists. NINE INCH NAILS and Gary Numan refound their mojo with their respective ‘Add Violence’ and ‘Savage (Songs From A Broken World)’ releases, with the latter recording his best body of work since his imperial heyday.

But the first quarter of the year was hamstrung by the anticipation for the 14th DEPECHE MODE long player ‘Spirit’, with other labels and artists aware that much of their potential audience’s hard earned disposable income was being directed towards the Basildon combo’s impending album and world tour.

Yet again, reaction levels seemed strangely muted as ‘Spirit’ was another creative disappointment, despite its angry politicised demeanour.

Rumours abounded that the band cut the album’s scheduled recording sessions by 4 weeks. This inherent “that’ll do” attitude continued on the ‘Global Spirit’ jaunt when the band insulted their loyal audience by doing nothing more than plonking an arena show into a stadium for the summer outdoor leg.

Despite protestations from some Devotees of their dissatisfaction with this open-air presentation, they were content to be short-changed again as they excitedly flocked to the second set of European arena dates with the generally expressed excuse that “it will be so much better indoors”.

By this Autumn sojourn, only three songs from ‘Spirit’ were left in the set, thus indicating that the dire record had no longevity and was something of a lemon.

Suspicions were finally confirmed at the ‘Mute: A Visual Document’ Q&A featuring Daniel Miller and Anton Corbijn, when the esteemed photographer and visual director confessed he did not like the album which he did the artwork for… see, it’s not just ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK 😉

Devotees are quick to say all criticism of DEPECHE MODE is unfair, but the band can’t help but make themselves easy targets time and time again. But why should the band care? The cash is coming, the cash is coming…

Luckily, veteran acts such as OMD and Alison Moyet saved the day.

The Wirral lads demonstrated what the word spirit actually meant on their opus ‘The Punishment Of Luxury’, while the former class mate of Messrs Gore and Fletcher demonstrated what a soulful, blues-influenced electronic record should sound like with ‘Other’.

As Tony Hadley departed SPANDAU BALLET and Midge Ure got all ‘Orchestrated’ in the wake of ULTRAVOX’s demise, the ‘Welcome To The Dancefloor’ album directed by Rusty Egan, to which they contributed, became a physical reality in 2017.

Now if DM plonked an arena show into the world’s stadiums, KRAFTWERK put a huge show into a theatre. The publicity stunt of 2012, when Tate Modern’s online ticket system broke down due to demand for their eight album live residency, did its job when the Kling Klang Quartett sold out an extensive UK tour for their 3D concert spectacular.

No less impressive, SOULWAX wowed audiences with their spectacular percussion heavy ‘From Deewee’ show and gave a big lesson to DEPECHE MODE as to how to actually use live drums correctly within an electronic context.

Mute Artists were busy with releases from ERASURE, LAIBACH and ADULT. but it was GOLDFRAPP’s ‘Silver Eye’ that stole the show from that stable. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM returned after seven years with their ‘American Dream’ and it was worth the wait, with the most consistent and electronic record that James Murphy’s ensemble has delivered in their career.

To say Neil Arthur was prolific in 2017 would be an understatement as he released albums with BLANCMANGE and FADER while Benge, a co-conspirator on both records, worked with I SPEAK MACHINE to produce ‘Zombies 1985’ which was one of the best electronic albums of the year; and that was without the JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS stage play soundtrack ‘The Machines’.

Despite JAPAN having disbanded in 1982, solo instrumental releases from Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri were particularly well-received, while David Sylvian made a return of sorts, guesting on ‘Life Life’ for ‘async’, the first album from Ryuichi Sakamoto since recovering from his illness. On the more esoteric front, Brian Eno presented the thoughtful ambience of ‘Reflection’, while THE RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP had ‘Burials In Several Earths’.

2017 was a year that saw acts who were part of the sine wave of Synth Britannia but unable to sustain or attain mainstream success like BLUE ZOO, B-MOVIE, FIAT LUX and WHITE DOOR welcomed back as heroes, with their talent belatedly recognised.

Germany had something of a renaissance as veterans Zeus B Held and ex-TANGERINE DREAM member Steve Schroyder came together in DREAM CONTROL as another TD offshoot QUAESCHNING & SCHNAUSS offered up some impressive ‘Synthwaves’, while there actually was a new TANGERINE DREAM album, their first without late founder member Edgar Froese.

Eberhard Kranemann and Harald Grosskopf offered up some KRAUTWERK as other veterans like RHEINGOLD, DER PLAN, BOYTRONIC and DJ HELL also returned. Comparatively younger, 2RAUMWOHNUNG and KATJA VON KASSEL both offered up enticing bilingual takes on classic electronic pop.

The Swedish synth community again delivered with DAILY PLANET, PAGE, REIN, VANBOT, ANNA ÖBERG, 047 and LIZETTE LIZETTE all delivering fine bodies of work, although KITE were missed, with their German tour cancelled and release of their ‘VII’ EP postponed due to vocalist Nicklas Stenemo’s illness; ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK wishes him all the best in his recovery.

Across the Baltic Sea, Finnish producer Jori Hulkkonen released his 20th album ‘Don’t Believe In Happiness’ while nearby in Russia, a duo named VEiiLA showcased an unusual hybrid of techno, opera and synthpop and ROSEMARY LOVES A BLACKBERRY offered a ‘❤’.

One of the year’s discussion points was whether Synthwave was just synthpop dressed with sunglasses and neon signs but whatever, Stateside based Scots but Michael Oakley and FM-84 made a good impression with their retro-flavoured electronic tunes.

It wasn’t all about the expats and in a territory as big as North America, there came a number of up-and-coming home grown electronic artists with LOST IN STARS, PARALLELS, PATTERN LANGUAGE, SPACEPRODIGI, COMPUTER MAGIC and BATTLE TAPES all gaining traction.

Canada’s PURITY RING infuriated some of their fanbase by working with KATY PERRY on three tracks for her album ‘Witness’. AESTHETIC PERFECTION’s new singles only policy was paying dividends and the Electro Mix of ‘Rhythm + Control’, which featured the promising newcomer NYXX, was one of the best tracks of 2017.

Female solo artists had strong presence in 2017 as FEVER RAY made an unexpected return, ZOLA JESUS produced her best work to date in ‘Okovi’ and Hannah Peel embarked on an ambitious synth / brass ‘Journey to Cassiopeia’. Meanwhile, SARAH P. asked ‘Who Am I’ and MARNIE found ‘Strange Words & Weird Wars’ as ANI GLASS and NINA both continued on their promising developmental path.

Other female fronted acts like KITE BASE, SPECTRA PARIS, BLACK NAIL CABARET, AVEC SANS, EMT and THE GOLDEN FILTER again reinforced that electronic music was not solely about boys with their toys.

Respectively, Ireland and Scotland did their bit, with TINY MAGNETIC PETS and their aural mix of SAINT ETIENNE and KRAFTWERK successfully touring with OMD in support of their excellent second album ‘Deluxe/Debris’, while formed out of the ashes of ANALOG ANGEL, RAINLAND wowed audiences opening for ASSEMBLAGE 23.

A bit of smooth among the rough, CULT WITH NO NAME released a new album while other new(ish) acts making a positive impression this year included KNIGHT$, MOLINA, ANNEKA, SOFTWAVE, THE FRIXION and KALEIDA.

Despite getting a positive response, both iEUROPEAN and SOL FLARE parted ways while on the opposite side of the coin, Belgian passengers METROLAND celebrated five years in the business with the lavish ‘12×12’ boxed set

Overall in 2017, it was artists of a more mature disposition who held their heads high and delivered, as some newer acts went out of their way to test the patience of audiences by drowning them in sleep while coming over like TRAVIS on VSTs.

With dominance of media by the three major labels, recognition was tricky with new quality traditional synthpop not generally be championed by the mainstream press. With Spotify now 20% owned by those three majors, casual listeners to the Swedish streaming platform were literally told what to like, as with commercial radio playlists.

It is without doubt that streaming and downloading has created a far less knowledgeable music audience than in previous eras, so Rusty Egan’s recent online petition to request platforms to display songwriting and production credits was timely; credit where credit is due as they say…

While ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK does not dismiss Spotify totally and sees it as another tool, it should not be considered the be all and end all, in the same way vinyl is not the saviour of the music industry and in physics terms, cannot handle the same dynamic range as CD.

Music is not as emotionally valued as it was before… that’s not being old and nostalgic, that is reality. It can still be enjoyed with or without a physical purchase, but for artists to be motivated to produce work that can connect and be treasured, that is another matter entirely.

However, many acts proved that with Bandcamp, the record company middle man can be eliminated. It is therefore up to the listener to be more astute, to make more effort and to make informed choices. And maybe that listener has to seek out reliable independent media for guidance.

However, as with the shake-up within the music industry over the last ten years, that can only be a good thing for the true synthpop enthusiast. And as it comes close to completing its 8th year on the web, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK maintains its position of not actually promoting new acts or supporting any scene, but merely to write about the music it likes and occasionally stuff it doesn’t… people can make their own mind up about whether to invest money or time in albums or gigs.

Yes, things ARE harder for the listener and the musician, but the effort is worthwhile 😉

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK Contributor Listings 2017


Best Album: QUASCHENING & SCHNAUSS Synthwaves
Best Song: BATTLE TAPES No Good
Best Gig: SOULWAX at O2 Ritz Manchester
Best Video: SOULWAX Is it Always Binary?
Most Promising New Act: MARIE DAVIDSON


Best Album: OMD The Punishment of Luxury
Best Song: SPARKS Edith Piaf (Said it Better Than Me)
Best Gig: SPEAK & SPELL at Glastonbury
Best Video: ALISON MOYET Reassuring Pinches
Most Promising New Act: MICHAEL OAKLEY


Best Album: PAGE Det Är Ingen Vacker Värld Men Det Råkar Vara Så Det Ser Ut
Best Song: LAU NAU Poseidon
Best Gig: PAGE at Electronic Summer 2017
Best Video: PSYCHE Youth Of Tomorrow
Most Promising New Act: ANNA ÖBERG


Best Album: I SPEAK MACHINE Zombies 1985
Best Song: AESTHETIC PERFECTION Rhythm + Control – Electro Version
Best Gig: OMD + TINY MAGNETIC PETS at Cambridge Corn Exchange
Best Video: I SPEAK MACHINE Shame
Most Promising New Act: MICHAEL OAKLEY


Best Album: FADER First Light
Best Song: OMD Isotype
Best Gig: MARC ALMOND at London Roundhouse
Best Video: GOLDFRAPP Anymore
Most Promising New Act: NINA


Best Album:  OMD The Punishment of Luxury
Best Song: DUA LIPA Be The One
Best Gig: HANNAH PEEL at Norwich Arts Centre
Best Video: PIXX I Bow Down
Most Promising New Act: PIXX


Best Album: ZOLA JESUS Okovi
Best Song: GARY NUMAN My Name Is Ruin
Best Gig: ERASURE at London Roundhouse
Best Video: GARY NUMAN My Name Is Ruin
Most Promising New Act: ANNA ÖBERG

Text by Chi Ming Lai
14th December 2017

« Older posts Newer posts »