PoP RECOMMENDS | PoP LEGEND : GARY NUMAN – SAVAGE (SONGS FROM A BROKEN WORLD)

Synth-pop pioneer Gary Numan never quite gave up on his music or himself despite the decline in popularity from the mid-80s onwards.

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THE LISTENING BOOTH | POP POWER !!! : LILY MCQUEEN – CHASING YOUR LOVE

Known for her eclectic blend of 80’s pop-rock, LA-based Lily McQueen announces her debut album Electric Love set for release on June 23rd via Concierge Records.

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SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION : KAYMAC – RET-EL 2.0

How Power of Pop founder, singer-songwriter Kevin Mathews re-discovered the joy of making music for himself.

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THE LISTENING BOOTH | POP POWER!!! : DAVID BAZAN – CARE / DISAPPEARING INK

When did alt-folk-rock singer-songwriter David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion fame) start writing synth-pop songs?

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THE LISTENING BOOTH | POP POWER!!!: DOOMBIRD – PAST LIVES

CREDIT: Raoul Ortega

We have always maintained that inside electronica lies the potential for pop music that embraces dramatic and emotional power within the context of dance and infection. Here’s an album that provides strong evidence for that assertion.

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THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: KAYMAC

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Ye faithful editor is back to regale you, dear PoPster, with his latest shenanigans in the world of popular (sic) music.

KayMac. Something new, something old. This is the moniker I will be using for the electronic art-pop instrumental music I will be making for the rest of my life. Somewhat distinct from the watchmen stuff, which will have lyrics and vocals. Continue reading “THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: KAYMAC”

ALBUM REVIEW: THE SLANTS – SOMETHING SLANTED THIS WAY COMES

Portrait of Asian-American band The Slants (L-R: Joe X Jiang, Ken Shima, Tyler Chen, Simon "Young" Tam, Joe X Jiang) in Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Oregon, USA on 21st August 2015. (Photo by: Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns)
Photo by: Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns

Background
The Slants are known as the first all-Asian American dance rock band in the world. The band was founded by Simon Young (also known as Simon Tam) in 2006 in Portland, Oregon.

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ALBUM REVIEW: OLD DISORDER IS THE KEY TO NEW ORDER INVIGORATION.

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Does life have to make sense? Does music need to feel complete? Or is it the inherent contradictions that make music the life-affirming force it can be?

Did anyone expect a new New Order album? Hooky out, Gillian back? In case you are not keeping score, Hooky (bassist Peter Hook) announced in 2007 that New Order was over and that he was leaving. Eight years later, Barney Summer and the rest of the gang (Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Phil Cunningham & Tom Chapman) has somewhat taken up the challenge to prove Hooky wrong.

And whilst the end product is a sublime dance-rock album of the kind that the original New Order are considered the pioneers of, Music Complete is not really New Order, any more than Electronic or Bad Lieutenant were New Order. The name itself is meaningless – without Hooky’s bass, this is most definitely not New Order.

However, in the final analysis, it makes no fucking difference, does it? With all the electro-pop acts vying for attention in the modern rock wasteland, the old masters have come back from the dead to show the young upstarts how it’s done.

There’s no doubting Summer’s way with a melody (and dodgy lyrics) but it is in the rhythm and the beats that Music Complete excels – big beats, techno, house, disco all mashed up into a heady mixture. “Restless”, “Tutti Frutti” and “Stray Dog” (with Iggy Pop on vocals) all rise like cream to the top but it is in the final number “Superheated” that Music Complete well and truly soars with one of the finest New Order tracks since the glory days of the 80s. “Superheated” is five minutes of sheer electro-pop bliss. Close your eyes and it’s the mid-eighties again.

Gorgeous.

LOVE X STEREO: WE LOVE WE LEAVE, PART 1 – A NEW LEASE ON LIFE FOR 2015

SEOULSONIK 2014

Last June, we did an interview with Annie Ko, frontperson of Korean indie electro-rock trio Love X Stereo. Well, the group is now a duo consisting of Annie and Toby Hwang and is ready for the new year with a new EP, consisting of new material and re-recorded favourites. Part 1 of the We Love, We Leave album is already out now and indie pop fans will enjoy the new viz. the dynamic synth-pop energy of the sultry title track and the throbbing dance-able “My Anywhere” and the ‘old’ viz. the exciting versions of “Soul City (Seoul City)” and “Chain Reaction”. We caught up with Annie again to get some insights of where the duo is right here, right now.

Five of the songs on the new EP are re-worked versions of previously released tracks, why?

We were selected for government support provided by KOCCA in order to make a new record. Before we go any further, we wanted to take a step back to rearrange/rerecord our previous tracks, because we always wanted to. Originally, we wanted to make a LP with mixtures of old & new, but we had a strict time restraint, and that’s why we ended up splitting into two EPs. First one represents “We Love”, and the next one represents “We Leave”.

Continue reading “LOVE X STEREO: WE LOVE WE LEAVE, PART 1 – A NEW LEASE ON LIFE FOR 2015”

PoPTV: APRIL FIFTEEN [VIDEOS]

Some new (official) music videos we’ve come across recently … enjoy!

RENDEZVOUS “EGYPT”

TEGAN & SARA “CLOSER”

CINEMASCAPE “PRIVATE PROPERTY”

DALE EARNHARDT JR JR “IF YOU DIDN’T SEE ME (THEN YOU WEREN’T ON THE DANCEFLOOR)”

BAKER “OVERLOAD”

Yeah I know I know, it’s all fookin’ dance pop innit? NEXT!

 

CLASSIC ALBUMS: DEPECHE MODE – SPEAK AND SPELL (1981) [REVIEW]

There are numerous landmarks achieved with this, the debut album of synth-pop combo, Depeche Mode. Released by Mute Records, it was a rare genuine indie album for its time. Speak and Spell contained also many songs which were amongst the first electronic numbers heard on the airwaves e.g. “New Life”, “Just Can’t Get Enough” and my personal favourite, “Dreaming of Me”. The use of synthesizers instead of the usual guitar, bass and drums instrumentation was so refreshing back in 1981. But what made the music of early Depeche Mode so memorable and timeless are the brilliant songs. Pop songs filled with hooks that captured the imagination of the post-punk generation, and taking Kraftwerk’s uncompromising electronic agenda to its logical conclusion. The album was also the only Depeche Mode LP with then-prinicipal songwriter Vince Clarke (who’d go on with further success with Yazoo, The Assembly and Erasure). Martin Gore would come to the fore in Clarke’s absence, turning the outfit towards the darker material it would become world famous for in subsequent years. Three decades later, thanks to the post-punk revival, Speak and Spell is as relevant as it ever was. Essential.