‘There is an unabashed charm that digs into the emotional core of the listening experience that will actually make you feel something. The majority of the compositions are uplifting, bright and hopeful, something sorely needed for these troubling times.’ 4 / 5
This new release is a digital single from the already reviewed last album from this outfit. As stated in my review, the musical outcome is ‘a sort of modern postcard from a distant era’ and is something that, perhaps for the nostalgic effect, is really easy listening in the best meaning of the word. The first track is the second single taken from Heat and is constructed as an almost classic synth pop track from the early ’80s with luminous melodic development. The really interesting part is the two remixes: the first one, from The No, is focused on the juxtaposition of an hard edge beat over the melodic lines of Serious Glass, while the second one, from Drvg Cvltvre, entirely deconstructs Highway Hypnosis taking it in darker and more evocative territories making and interesting use of noises as it doesn’t erase the pop allure of the tune. As almost every single this is a collector’s item, however the Drvg Cvltvre remix is something worth a listen and could even acts as a possible line of development for Hunter Complex. Nice.
Narrominded publishes the new LP from Holland’s Hunter Complex presented as ‘a strange mix of Moroder’s film scores and ’81-’82 era’ so the songs collected in this release are based on the classic synth pop structure. So, musically speaking, they are pop songs with synth instead of guitars and reveals as sound exploration has given to pop an entirely new musical palette. Heat opens this release with a ’80’s sound clearly recognizable but with the ’90 experimental attitude while Serious Glass deals with classic synth pop musical structure without seem a bad copy of it. Atlantic seems something taken from some strange oat featuring a sort of exotic mood vaguely resembling of some japan tunes. Space is clearly influenced by the ’70 disco sound made by Giorgio Moroder. Daylight features dreamy synth. Highway Hypnosis opens the B-side of this album, released on vinyl, and is a track with one of the best hook heard this year. China Rain is a slow ballad and Room almost a dance track. Stations and Hours close this as classic pop tunes that use synth to obtain a layer of modernity to the classic pop musical development.
This album is really well written and glamorous, it features declaredly nothing ground-breaking, and is a sort of modern postcard from a distant era (the ’80s) that seems better than ever. Nice without nostalgia.
Hunter Complex is the project of Lars Meijer, guy already involved with Living Ornaments and Psychon and also one of the people who runs the Narrominded label. Hunter Complex is his debut album under this moniker and contains twelve songs that find their roots into 80s electronic / synthpop music. Lars’ songwriting recalled me the electronic wave of the last decade of 70s and the first of 80s when people like John Foxx, Paul Haig and Thomas Leer were producing their hits. If you’re questioning yourself if there is a reason why I picked up these three names, well for sure there is one: Lars, in my opinion, is looking for the right blend of electronic analog sounds and personal songwriting and for this reason we have intimate song like Chinese Restaurants and Fashion Street (with an upfront piano/organ duet that remind me of some Scritti Politti atmospheres), cold wave tunes like Here Is the Night (the last year Lars issued an E.P. with three mixes of the song, the original and the instrumental versions which is available as free download and as MCD) and Kerosine. If you love all the kind of 80s wave bands, from Human League to ABC passing from A Flock Of Seagulls, Ultravox, Dalis Car, etc, I suggest you to check Hunter Complex.
Kamp Holland is a new double vinyl compilation of Enfant Terrible which gathers sixteen bands coming from Holland. The label in the past focused their releases on minimal electronic / experimental pop and industrial electronic sounds influenced or produced during the late 70s / mid 80s. With Kamp Holland Enfant Terrible is redefining things presenting sixteen tracks where some of them have been influenced by the sound covered by the label during the past years and some others are influencing the label for its future releases. Has something changed? Well, yes. I think that this is the most heterogenous release of Enfant Terrible as we find: pulsating and menacing electro sounds (good one Bye bye by Lesbian Mouseclicks), synth retro sounds (Bakeliet with Don’t Let Them Know, Neurobit with Inner Hideaway, Pornologic with Pterodactyl Extraordinaire and Milligram Retreat with Allégement), great synth electro wave (really nice and melodic Ruimtevaart Vooruit by Staatseinde and a good dancey one Desert by Hunter Complex), orchestral breakbeat (Autonon’s Not For Immortals reminds me of Venetian Snares), dark electronic sounds ( Milligram Retreat with Allégement), experimental noisy tunes (Puin+Hoop – Slaapstaking), percussive post punk (Hadewych with Apse sound like a mix of Einsturzende Neubauten and UK Decay), circus weird experimental tunes (Logosamphia with “La Hars” sounds like a 60s hammond toon song mixed with breakbeat on the final part), pure pulsating electronic noise (Peter Quistgard with NONO sound like a gabber track composed with a Commodore 64 while Murw with Een Soort Van Geel sound like a throbbing electro noise collage) and melancholic pop wave (like the closing Itlien by Treasure Of Grundo). Available in mid June.