I have been a fan of Bittersweet Machines (a.k.a. Matt Mocharnuk) ever since I reviewed his debut release, Solituda, in 2012. I believe I described the experience as an “eargasm!”
The third album since Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s comeback with History of Modern in 2010 finds the duo of Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys revert to their earliest Kraftwerk-influenced sound on The Punishment of Luxury.
Synthpop pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark share the title track of their new album, Punishment of Luxury.
The 80s was a special time for rock music as the aftermath of punk in the late 70s resulted in bands reinventing rock music by infusing many different musical styles into traditional rock forms inspired by world music, the avant garde and also more significantly, the technological advances in synthesisers.
When Dean Garcia formed CURVE with Toni Halliday back in 1990, he had already established himself as a solid musician through his involvement with the Eurythmics… and since Curve disbanded, he has been mainly produced music as SPC ECO, together with Rose Berlin. This is his latest project, a dark moody collaboration with Preston Maddox of Texan alternative rock band Bloody Knives.
Veteran Scottish band that come out of the C86 indie pop movement to become one of the prime movers of dance-rock in the 90s. Chaosmosis is the band’s 11th album.
Pretty amazed at how much influence the music of the 80s post-punk/new wave bands continue to have on modern rock. Regular visitors would be familiar with my disdain for the Joy Division clones that continue to rear their ugly heads but it’s fair to say that there are legitimate artists out there who are doing great things with 80s music.
Love X Stereo‘s “We Love, We Leave” gets a music video that visualises its conceptual thrust perfectly. The video itself is ambitious, arty and yes, sexy – leaving a throbbing mess that usually comes as a result of conjugal action. The song, already a powerfully appealing single in its own right lifts off when set to these tempting visuals. Kudos to all involved. Don’t feel guilty if you enjoy it too much…
… still there’s more …
I won’t sugar coat this – I have a problem with what passes for electro-pop in the post-punk revival. Invariably the rhythms are trite and predictable, the synth sounds are boring and the melodies banal. This track from St. Lucia (off his eponymous EP) begs to have that point of view re-assessed. It’s a proper pop song with a decent attempt at a tune rather than relying on the disco beat and the senseless yodeling that too many electro-pop bands resort to. The video is trippy enough to warrant a look.
AND to keep you hipster kids’ attention – listen to St. Lucia’s remix of Passion Pit‘s “Constant Conversations”
When I interviewed Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos a couple of months ago, he expressed a certain incredulity when I asked him whether he expected to be playing in places like Singapore, when he started to put together his music seriously, all those years ago. I am sure that he was equally blown away by the ecstatic response from the packed out Esplanade Concert Hall on Tuesday night, consisting mainly of tween hipster kids!
Come and watch Cosmic Armchair play NOT ONE but TWO sets of LIVE SYNTHPOP original songs at The Esplanade Concourse on
* Wed 29/8 – 8.15pm set
* Fri 31/8 – 7.15pm set
– with Cosmic Jane on vocals and keyboards, and Cosmic Ben on keyboards and touchscreens. Admission is free.
You’ll hear favourites from the duo’s EP A Second Look and new songs from its upcoming album Contact. Esplanade shows start on time, so please don’t be late. Then leave your email address and you’ll get an exclusive song after the show!
More details and samples of Cosmic Armchair music at www.cosmicarmchair.com
AT THE CONCOURSE 9 JUNE 2012
Gayle Nerva and Sean Nerney out of electropop wonders I Hate This Place made their inaugural appearance at the Esplanade Concourse somewhat bewildered by the surroundings but overcoming nerves and unfamiliarity to deliver what they are best at – strong melodies with cool vibes!
TECHY ROMANTICS Touch (Party Bear)
When I first saw Philippine trio Techy Romantics at Baybeats 2010, I was struck by how much it seemed to be a hybrid of electronic music and twee pop! With Dondi Virrey manning the machines, Ryan Villena playing guitar and Camyl Besinga singing on top, it all just seemed perfectly engineered to present the best of technology and romance. Voila! Techy Romantics, indeed!