By Various Artists
It's a funny thing, electroclash. A few years ago it was considered the in thing, the hip new sound from the underground, the tipple of choice for people who wear ghastly 1980s clothing and cake themselves in make up. Now, it would seem that everyone's had their fill of 80s beats and silly synth noises, as it's been steadily in decline since the whole Nathan Barley set decided they liked it. For those of you familiar with an episode of The Mighty Boosh, in which Vince joins Kraftwerk Orange, an 80s electro band with fellow band mates Johnny Two-Hats, Ultra and Neon, this is pretty much like that episode. For those of you not familiar with it, you should be, it was fucking funny.
Anyway, on with the tunes... first on this split single from Manchester's Mate Records is 'A Kiss...' from Roger. Taking its cue from Kraftwerk Orange, this is pretty much electro by numbers. It's enjoyable, but nothing wildly special or anything. It has all the moments that retro 80s electro always has - the pumping rhythm from a casio keyboard, the gritty synths, vocodered vocals and catchy chords. Maybe a bit too obvious, but it's OK for background music I guess.
Boys of Scandanavia's offering is much better - the funky bass lines, grim atmosphere and sparse instrumentation make it sound similar to Interpol covering the darkest moments of Joy Divison. People may say they do that already, but you get what I mean - it's dark. Helluva dark. But oddly engrossing and strangely catchy. Investigate.