Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Electroscopes on Firestation Records

There's a huge chasm usually between electronic dance and melancholy pop, but somehow The Electroscopes seem to have built some kind of bridge between the two on this single from Firestation Records. Paul based out of Northampton, Britain sent me his debut single a while back and the xeroxed sleeve of a stark residential building sort of reminded me of a split single sleeve from Grandaddy and Paul himself probably took the time to write the track info on the blank center label, none of which would give away the somber dance of the single inside.

A-Side "Made a Mistake" begins with small chord strikes bouncing between channels and a subtle beat of understated thumps of a digital kick while Paul delivers his vocal in a young Joe Strummer style. Definitely a minimal electronica of two chords pushing back and forth from a low organ. This whole instrumentation plays with a fading in and out of bleeps and chimes from ancient nintendo games, clearly after a high spirited dance groove but pleading about making a mistake. The vocal is back off in the middle of the tiny room with an occasional warble of underwater opaqueness that muddies in that dance way of suddenly clearing back up and coming in stronger on the next pass. It's that fight between a danceable groove in a terribly guilty way. There's a sadness here that maybe prevents what sounds like a celebration...but that the cool mechanical dance of The Electroscopes.

B-Side "First into Space, last down to breakfast" is more than a great title, they're playing with this quieter almost atmospheric beat heavy sound with clipped, broken sounding peaked input stuttering into the red. A massive hum from the lowest bass kick purrs in under the plinking keys giving this a deranged Simply Red/ Rick Astley vibe on tour with The Orb or Boards of Canada. A future soul vocal is buried to the back of the spacestation. Crazy synth woodwind solo because The Electroscopes aren't afraid to let this kind of plastic facade speak for itself. Maybe they revel in the difficulty of those abandoned sounds, like the astronaut who has to sit in the drivers seat while everyone plants flags outside on the moon. But if he was late getting up, it's maybe his fault? Still sad. Slappy machined up beats throughout, slightly damaged mechanics, and part of a future electro soul sound that hasn't happened yet.

Hand labeled and numbered with xerox sleeves from Germany's Firestation Records.

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