Subtitled (rather optimistically, I thought) '12 electro classics for the 21st century), this compilation brings together 12 mainly lesser-known British acts & proves that there's some life in British electropop yet.
As easily the best-known artist & who actually represents something of a coup for the compilers, Martin Degville opens proceedings with the instantly infectious ditty 'Planet Bi' which resurrects the old Sigue Sigue Sputnik electro/punk/glamrock (some of the guitar licks sound a lot like Mud'sTiger Feet!) style & proves there's some mileage in it yet, in fact, it's easily the best thing they've ever done! The only other acts on here that I'd previously even heard of were Neuvogue, who provide electronic comfort to anyone lamenting the loss of Elegant Machinery & the like & Geoff Pinkney's Alien 6 who turns in a lively & funky little number that, whilst lacking the adventurous feel of the Establishing Alpha album, does boast some scorching synthleads.
Electraset's Roy Mullin, who compiled the album, sensibly pulls rank to put his band's contribution, the pleasantly punchy 'Just Another Number' on second & despite the less than perfect recording quality (nothing that an experienced hand couldn't sort out) it shows a good deal of promise with the fine vocals being an added bonus. Likewise One Moment's 'Cold Stare' which could well turn out to be a nicely muscular number in the right hands. Of these new bands, the highlight comes in the shape of Hypernova's slower & darkly atmospheric 'My Light' where even the vocals add a further dramatic edge to the excellent melodic work. The Silent Age's 'Contrition' also has much to commend it, not least the fine melodic work that contributes towards the track's dramatic edge although the rhythms do sound as if they're holding it back & could do with some reprogramming, otherwise this is another band to watch. Likewise, the rhythmic colouring of Synthface's 'With Your Love' sounds a tad overbearing & although it does nothing to spoil the track's uplifting & romantic mood it could use a little remixing which would allow the excellent vocalist to come to the fore still more. Elsewhere Starbase 109 provide the silly but short 'Engineering Workshop' where both the title & the music sound like a children's TV show while Electroflex & Payola Disco both go for the more obvious synthetic route with some electroclash overtones &, in the latter case, some unmistakeably 'urban' vocals (the T's are dropped regularly!!) that give their 'Skinny Girl' a more gritty 'high street' appeal. Likewise, Silver Factory Superstars close the album with a bouncy analogue-flavoured number that should appeal.
The number of promising new names on here actually comes as a very pleasant surprise & I'll certainly be looking forward to seeing some of them develop their potential more fully in the future.
Artist Link: http://www.myspace.com/electraset