SOMEONE, WE NOW know, listened to Ladytron. A lot.
The breathy vocals of the opening track, Stealing, provides a link to last decade’s two-girl, two-boy Liverpool act that I mentioned in my seventh word.
There’s a dischord, an ethereal beauty that unites the two, but the perpetual chime of Stealing delves into the hypnotic transcendental keyboard fixation of Orbital or Severed Heads.
The second track, Dancing Star, divulges such loves even further. “Dancing star, sexy moves/ No space, no time!”, and we’re off in a 1982 basement disco with iffy lighting and seriously cruel clothing.
Their press officer likes to call ∆GO “krauty, dreamy and psychedelic” which isn’t too far off the mark. In fact, it’s right on the button. It Was Only Smoke, for example, has a glorious minute and a half or so orchestral runout that you feel would be ideal in an Sean Connery-era Bond movie when the baddie has been dispensed with and our hero is stranded on a dinghy with a beautiful woman.
The lyrics are very abstract, the electro-fuelled rhythms are head-poundingly brilliant or earachingly painful, depending on your viewpoint, and the repetition can at best be described as engaging. It’s as if Goldfrapp collaborated with Disturbed. At this moment in time, after a few listens, I remain, still, in a position in which I cannot say if I want to listen again, or throw it to the dogs.
That this came in the same envelope with an album by the Brit-based Aussie Joel Sarakula reveals what a wonderful job these press officers have, where “modern Northern Soul” mingles with pop, and straddles electro-clash.
The Northern Soul link is thanks, as it were, to BBC6 Music DJ Craig Charles. Perhaps there is an attempt to re-energise a movement that includes Leon Bridges and Curtis Harding, artists with an affinity with Motown and the Chairman of the Board.
I can’t quite buy it though. The Imposter (We are Elevate records) is joyful, but it isn’t soulful, not like Aretha might sound if had finished a shift as a miner. Too polished, too tame, not enough heartache. I will give Sarakula his dues, and the benefit of the doubt, for now, but future releases may require an extra edge.