Drive Doc Emmett Brown’s DeLorean to 1966 and dump the Pet Shop Boys off at Sunset Sounds, see how they get on helping the Beach Boys record Pet Sounds. Think of the marvel of time travel’s possibilities, Pet Shop Boy Sounds; if only it were possible!
But while you ponder what kind of sound might it be, imagine what paradox you’d cause in the wake of your return, what contemporary music would’ve warped into; now I’m twisting your melon, man. Maybe give Django Django’s fourth album Glowing in The Dark a try, if you’re incapable of kicking Kraftwerk out of your Tardis at Abbey Road’s eight-track studio as John, Paul, George and Ringo plan Sgt Pepper, for in essence, the result might be uncannily parallel.
As the track Headrush fades into The Ark, halfway through this genre-bending electronica, you’d be forgiven for aching to hear Soft Cell’s Tainted Love cover for prosperity, but hurry or you’ll be reaching for Pink Floyd’s Meddle too. If you think electronica has no avenues left to stride along and come out of the woods unscathed, here is a new journey, which though splices many influences, is perfected in matchlessness.
Equally, if you feel electronica lost its way after new wave, as hit factories seized the era and everything underground which followed for a decade seemed to involve waving glowsticks or making imaginary boxes to mindless and soulless techno while chewing your bottom lip off, then this is your reawakening.
For lyrically, Glowing in the Dark has a rather platitude running theme of escapism. Cliché as leitmotifs vis-à-vis to despair from constraints of small-town life, or terrain ascending dreams might sound, it’s handled well. Acoustic rock goodness is graced here too, then, the World will Turn is quintessentially The Byrds, at best comparison, and miniature road movie Waking Up hints at T-Rex combining Serge Gainsbourg’s Bonnie and Clyde with Gainsbourg’s daughter Charlotte guest vocalist, just to ascertain. But it’s like Mike Oldfield plucks a funky guitar for the next tune, and Daft Punk will jaw drop at the simplified meticulousness of the danceable title track.
The finale then achieves what the late great Andrew Weatherall set out to do with Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, precisely, oh my god, not, no, not thirty years ago, surely?! Tie a fluorescent French horn to my Zimmer frame and pass my meds, Glowing in the Dark relishes in all which has passed in music technology from the psychedelic nature of space rock, the dreamy accompaniments of acoustic, the bellbottoms of glam, through to new wave and rave, yet somehow, while embracing all familiarities, charges something exclusive and fresh at you.
But I feel now the end is here, all the aforementioned is not why this album is so beguiling and attained, because it’s fair to say such blends have been attempted before, yet its originality is maintained and its splendour achieved by the free-flowing composition; it just, works.
Released 12th February 2021, via Because Music, on limited edition glow-in-the-dark vinyl, standard black vinyl, CD and digital download/streaming on all usual platforms.
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