Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Kevin Lux Album "Autonomatik" Reviewed

The Music of Kevin Lux is really interesting to listen to and the album "Autonomatik" is full of electronic surprises. Lush pads, sequencer patterns and melodic synths dominate the album.


The opening track "Prelude To Autonomy" has an air of Jean Michel Jarre about it, wonderful pads and strings give this track a very atmospheric sound. Track 2 "Aurora" has all the elements Kevin likes to use in his songs, rhythm, vocoded vocals and sequenced bass elements, quite a minimal track but with commercial appeal with it's gentle melodic parts and occasional pads.

"Trust The Machine" has a much harder edge and reminded me of some of the tracks on Metroland's "Triadic Ballet" album. Dark and sinister is probably a good description, interesting how the song develops from it's opening dark sound into a more pop direction, great use of melody again, synth leads reminded me of Gary Numan.

"Business" is a great track with it's "Speak & Spell" speech, musically, think very early Kraftwerk (Ralf & Florian, Kraftwerk 1 & Kraftwerk 2 albums), the songs has a simple but very effective rhythmic section. Following that we have "Robit", very Kraftwerk and comparisons will definitely be made to their track "The Robots", the sequencer parts are fantastic and the whole song is held together with clever use of voice samples that tell the story of a robot. A well constructed track.

"Talking In My Sleep" is warm and inviting, I just love the pads and string sounds Kevin has used on this album and they are used to great effect here, a much more upbeat track with superbly constructed sequencer segments, expecially the bass sequencer, a lot to admire in this busy track, that said, there is plenty of room for all the elements of the song to breathe, definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album. Listen out for that well known Numan pad lead sound, superbly replicated here.

"Tesla" has more of a soundtrack feel about it and the structure of the song instantly reminded me of the work of Jonteknik. Great rhythm and synth sounds, it is upbeat and quite haunting especially with the pads/strings used, another big favourite off the album. It's simplicity works perfectly.

"Machine Beat" has plenty of Kraftwerk elements, the "Zap" sound, percussive elements and noises and a strong lead synth, some neat drum effects used as well, a mixture of treated vocals and vocoded vocals add to the overall dimension of the track. Kevin has a real knack of creating effective simple melodic parts using the perfect synth sound. Next we have the title track "Auronomatik" which starts off with morse code and radio noise before we are treated, once again, to a beautiful synth lead sound that instantly reminded me of the intro to Gary Numan's "Love Needs No Disguise". This song has a strong rhythm section as you would expect, it's upbeat and vocally there is a lot going on, treated vocals, robotic voices, I like the pace of this track and the excellent use of melodies. The song develops really well and is again a big favourite of mine off the album, indeed my favourite track on the album.

"Totality" is a sequencer driven track, which really appeals to me, it's another area Kevin excels in, I found the pulsing bass sound a bit of a distraction, but that is a minor gripe. It's another song that builds effectively, the sequencers are punctured with a string pad every now and again which adds to the appeal of the track, strong vocal elements overlay the music and work well.

Jean Michel Jarre is a big unfluence on the track "Portal", especially the string and pad intro set against vocoded vocals, again the lead synth melody is fantastic, beautiful and warm, almost "Cinematic". It's definitely a more melancholic song, the album certainly has varying moods, which is why it is such a fascinating album to listen too. "Voice Of Energy" makes fine use of voice samples to complement the structure of the track, this is less melodic that the other tracks as the focus is more on rhythm and sequenced bass parts and overlaid sequencer sections.

"Hustle Bustle" has hauntingly treated vocals and some of the best sequencer parts I have ever heard in a track, it is upbeat and catchy, mainly due to the sequencers, and of course excellent use of a string synth, another track I really like.

The album closes with "Autonomy Outro", which has a huge Jean Michel Jarre influence, as it is dominated by synth pads and lead sounds, I love the sound of the drums on this song, superb use of effects. The chord parts and jangling bell synth (think "Neon Lights") are fantastic. A wonderful ending to the album.

He has spent an incredible 30 years making music drawing on the influences of Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, OMD, Gary Numan and Orbital to name a few, I think this album undoubtably uses more of a Jarre and Kraftwerk influence, but he does have a unique sound of his own, his music draws you in, mainly due to it's atmospheric sound. It's no surprise that he has now joined the Plonk Music Label roster, his music is a perfect fit for that label.

It is amazing to learn that Kevin recorded the album between July and August 2017, just 2 months, he was undoubtably on a creative wave. This is a well constructed and well produced album. Prior to writing this review I listened with headphones and it blew me away, the depth of sound and rich layers in the songs are amazing.

There is so much to admire with this album and it certainly takes the listener on an audio journey, a fantastic album 9/10

"Autonomatik" is available from Bandcamp: https://kevinlux.bandcamp.com/album/autonomatik

Visit Kevin's Official Homepage: http://kevinlux.com/music/

Visit Kevin's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Kevin-Lux-Music-Official-101959323318/

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Electronic Music Hour #32

Welcome to edition #32 of our series "The Electronic Music Hour", which features some of the best electronic and synthpop music from the last 40 years.


These shows not only include well known artists from the last 4 decades but new and emerging bands on the electronic music scene from around the world, a lot of which are either unsigned, or on a small independent label, or self release their material.

So the shows will feature old and new tracks that fit in the electronic/synthpop genre.

Listen On Mixcloud

Listen On Hearthis.at

Playlist:

Tears For Fears - Head Over Heels (Remix)
Phil Oakey & Giorgio Moroder - Be My Lover Now
Robert Marlow - The Face Of Dorian Gray
Parralox - Be My Baby
Dancing With Ruby - Becoming Undone
OMD - Area
Talk Talk - Another Word
Metroland - Re-Design
Erasure - Reunion
Nature Of Wires & CountessM - Cyber Rendexvous (Original Mix)
Simple Minds - This Earth That You Walk Upon
Angels & Agony - Illusions
Northern Kind - Loser
Pet Shop Boys - Jack The Lad

Sunday, 18 February 2018

New Maschine Brennt Single "60 Seconds" Reviewed

Maschine Brennt are to release the track "60 Seconds" as a new 3 track single on February 22nd.


The track made it's debut on the recent "We Are Machine Pop 4" compilation released by the Plonk Music Label.

For the new release we get the full version of the track and it is fantastic, a driving rhythm and infectious bass synth are the key ingredients in the track, indeed it is the bass synth (not to be confused with the actual bass-line elements of the song) that grabs your attention with it's body jarring rhythmic sound, over the top we have delightful melodic parts and sequencers as well as the vocoded vocals.

"The Rhythm Of The Beat" is like a dub version of "60 Seconds" and has  more of a Kraftwerk feel to it, it took me back to those 80s 12 Inch Dub versions you used to hear, brilliant use of sequenced patterns that are very melodic too.

The final track is a remix of "60 Seconds" by Akamagoo, which is a real gem, superb use of the Roland 808 Drum Machine, it also has a bit of a Hip Hop influence running through it. New synth parts are also added and they are superb additions to what is a solid track.

Definitely Maschine Brennt's finest moment to date and an absolute joy to listen to.

10/10

The 3 track single will be available on Maschine Brennt's Bandcamp page:

https://maschinebrennt.bandcamp.com/

Also worth checking out is Plonk Music's Official Homepage, as they are putting together an impressive catalogue of releases:

http://plonk.nu/

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

White Lion Radio Valentine's Day Special

White Lion Radio wants to share some love with you this Valentine's Day with a special show.


"White Lion Radio Present.....The Power Of Love" is a special show on which we play 80's tracks that have the word "Love" in the title, don't expect a show packed with love songs, it's a show that has everything, pop, ballads, synthpop, dance & disco.

Listen to the show on Mixcloud

Listen to the show on Hearthis.at

FULL PLAYLIST

ABC - The Look Of Love (Part 1)
Erasure - Chains Of Love
Booker Newbury III - Love Town
The Human League - Love Action (I Believe In Love)
Thompson Twins - Love On Your Side
Howard Jones - What Is Love?
Climie Fisher - Love Changes (Everything)
Evelyn 'Champagne' King - Love Come Down
Imagination - State Of Love
Blancmange - Thats Love That It Is
Soft Cell - Where Did Our Love Go
The Passions - I'm In Love With A German Film Star
Sharon Brown - I Specialize In Love
Pet Shop Boys - Love Comes Quickly
Billy Ocean - Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)
Alison Moyet - Is This Love?
Luther Vandross - Stop To Love
Bryan Ferry - Slave To Love
Taylor Dayne - Prove Your Love
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Power Of Love

Enjoy the show ♥♥♥♥♥

Monday, 12 February 2018

Maximum 80s (Volume 56)

White Lion Radio have released Edition 56 of Maximum 80s.

This is a series of shows that feature nothing but the very best in 1980s 12 Inch Singles.

The biggest hits on the biggest format from a classic decade......the 1980s.


Listen On Mixcloud

Listen On Hearthis.at

Track List

Dead Or Alive - Brand New Lover (Up Ducky Mix)
Bronski Beat - Why (Extended Mix)
Chaka Khan - I Feel For You (Remix)
Madonna - Angel (Extended Dance Mix)
Pet Shop Boys - It's A Sin (Phil Harding Latin Vocal Mix)
Lisa Stansfield - All Around The World (American Club Remix)
David Bowie - Blue Jean (Extended Dance Mix)
Living In A Box - Living In A Box (Dance Mix)
Blancmange - Lose Your Love (Extended Version)
Freddie Mercury - I Was Born To Love You (Extended Mix)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

We Are Machine Pop 4 Reviewed

Independent Electronic Music label Plonk, have released their 4th Machine Pop Compilation. For those of you that aren't familiar with these collections, they feature bands and artists inspired by Kraftwerk. The compilations are also a focal point for our "Kraftwerk" themed radio shows.


The album kicks off with a very impressive track, "Robotic Love" by Kosmonaute, who are from Sweden and make their debut on this series of compilations, this is as close as you will get to a "Machine Pop Ballad", the lead synth melody is a thing of pure beauty, working perfectly in tandem with the vocoded vocals, the track dates back to 2013 and I am amazed I haven't come across it before, my favourite track on the album.

The more I hear of Unisonlab the more I like their music and again they deliver with "League Of Machines", a bass driven track with some nice melodic touches. Next we have Gary Wright who records under the name Neon, I have been familiar with Gary's music for many years and is probably the one artist that gets close to that "Kraftwerk" sound, "Future Technology" is brilliant, with excellent use of synths and vocoder, he is a master at creating melodic parts on his songs. He has many songs recorded in the Neon vault and should release a complete album of his own material.

Datapop contribute the track "Radioklang", taken from their stunning album "Pop", if you love Kraftwerk I highly recommend this album (you will find a full review on this blog here). "Radioklang" is pure electro pop and very infectious, it has a chorus you will be singing over and over in no time. The track is well constructed, with lots going on, plent of catchy sequencer riffs and melodies, pushes "Robotic Love" very close for being the best track on the album.

Kretz are a familiar name on these compilations and their track "Ich Bin Ein Klon" has a much harder sound than the tracks before it, I do like the synth pads on this as well as the rhythm track, another solid track. Another newcomer is French Electronic outfit Marboss, "P3-P6" is a fine track, some brilliant synthwork, especially the bottom end bass sounds and lead synth, excellent use of percussive sounds as well. I'm sure we will hear a lot more from this band.

I am a big fan of the work of Maschine Brennt, especially their debut album "The Hearing Aid" (again reviewed on this blog here). Featured here is the track "60 Seconds", which isn't on "The Hearing Aid", it is fast becomming my favourite Maschine Brennt track. A superbly produced track with elements of Kraftwerk's "Computer World" album evident in the sound. This is Machine Pop perfection. Silicon Machines make their first appearance since the very first "Machine Pop" compilation and what a return it is too, "Basic" has a fabulous bassline running through it which hits you like New Order's "Blue Monday" bassline. Fantastic use of vocal samples and vocoder, a very upbeat track, excellent again.

Sector One have appeared on every "Machine Pop" compilation so far and here they contribute the track "The Operation". The bass sequencer reminded me of the bassline on The Human League track "Open Your Heart". There is a touch of Acid thrown in and a strong sequenced melodic pattern. I wasn't keen on the industrial noises in the track, that said, the song structure is good and I especially like the use of pad sounds in the latter half of the song.

Making their debut on the album is Kevin Lux, like Marboss, he recently signed to the Plonk Music label. Kevin has been making electronic music for many years, his sound is probably more commercial than some of the tracks featured here, "Business" is a fantastic track with good use of sequencers and rhythm patterns and the sampled "Speak & Spell" voices are very "Computer World". He will be a great addition to the label, of that I have no doubt. Lobtec is a side project of Maschine Brennt, their offering is "Y03914" and is a much darker sounding track, touching both the dance and techno genre. The final track is by Deutsche Bank and it is called "Grand Unified Theory" and is everything you expect from them, strong bassline, melodic synth parts and vocoder, the main synth melody is stunning, Mats has a good ear for a catchy melody, a superb closing track.

Another brilliant compilation by Plonk and a word on the artwork, it is one of the best covers I have seen for a music release, all in all a very impressive addition to the "We Are Machine Pop" family. Well worth adding to your music collection if you like your Electronic Music and especially if you like Kraftwerk.

9/10

The album is available via Bandcamp: https://plonk.bandcamp.com/album/we-are-machine-pop-4

You will find all 4 compilations here: https://plonk.bandcamp.com/

Visit the Plonk Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/plonklabel/

Monday, 5 February 2018

Rubik's 80s Mix (Volume 56)

Edition #56 of Rubik's 80s Mix is now out on White Lion Radio.


This a series of shows that includes the very best in 80s music all in one continuous mix.

The biggest hits from the greatest decade in music history!

A show guaranteed to bring back so many happy memories!

Listen to the show on Mixcloud here

Listen on Hearthis.at here

Full Playlist

Alison Moyet - All Cried Out
George Michael - Faith
A-Ha - Hunting High And Low
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
Japan - Quiet Life
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
Debarge - Rhythm Of The Night
Living In A Box - Room In Your Heart
Lionel Richie - Running With The Night
Kraftwerk - The Model
ABC - When Smokey Sings
Bronski Beat - Why?
China Crisis - Wishful Thinking
Kim Wilde - You Came
Bee Gees - You Win Again