Russian synthpop, that's not something you come across everyday but this debut album from the startlingly beautiful duo of Darja & Julia proves well worth checking out. Their music is a mix of old-skool synthpop & more modern danceable elements with enough good tracks to prove that they're far more than just a pair of pretty faces. What's more, the standard gets progressively higher as the album proceeds, no mean feat when there are 15 tracks to deal with (although the last two are pretty decent remixes).
"Tocka" opens the album in a pleasantly bleepy manner with a likeably quirky feel soon coming to the fore, not unlike Cellulloide's more recent works although the Russian lyrics, courtesy of one Alex Flop, add a much more distinctive flavour. The problem here is that a lot of the titles are rendered in the Russian alphabet, meaning that most people from outside their homeland aren't likely to know what they're called, which can only be a setback, especially given that Russian is not the most accessable of languages anyway (which is the reason for the questionmark on the track listing although their website does at least have a good English page!). This is particularly sad in the case of tracks 11 & 12 which are among the album's highlights, the former for its more abrasive, harder edge & bustling rhythms while the latter impresses due to the pallette of more imaginative sounds that the duo utilise to memorable effect.
That a number of tracks have English lyrics, thanks again to Mister Flop, has to be a good move in widening the album's appeal. Among these are the lively & pacey duo of "Terra X" & "Goodbye" as well as "Fire" which has a good solid chorus & "Girl From Hanau" which impresses still further due to the effective synth & piano backing that provides a nicely melancolic edge. One massive surprise is the cover of Project Pitchfork's "Daimonium" which originally appeared on the Russian Pitchfork tribute album & appears again here although the light synthpop treatment it receives here might take some getting used to (I'm still not sure about it myself!). Overall, though, this album came as a pleasant surprise & if you can overcome the inevitable language difficulties then synthpoppers are sure to find plenty to their liking here.
Artist Link: http://www.emplosia.com