Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yello - stella (1985)

Yello maintained their place amidst the most creative bands of the 80's with Stella. "Desire" was one of their fluid, atmospheric, soundtrack-based, exotic tinged, electronic doom jazz themes. "Vicious Games" occupied the same territory, as if a haunted disco theme for a surreal soap-opera. In "Oh Yeah", the ever present deformed disco-theme was vivisected with an abundance of distorted vocal effects.

The epitome of elegance, "Desert Inn" was a mixture of ethnic ritual chanting, disco beats, jam-rock flourishes, and an epic ambient electronica awe. "Stalakdrama" was a symphonic experiment in tension, it's Wagnerian overture magnified to a point of feverish splendour. In "Koladi-ola", another ingenious piece of electro-pop, prevailed a digital funk-rock whose elements came from all sorts of disparate sources.

This wild eclecticism continued in "Domingo", a mix of heavy-metal, soundtrack themes, chanting, classical, banging beats etc. "Sometimes" returned to their elegant and gentle side, yet still managed to sound like a rolle-roaster ride. Similarly the desolate but grand synthscape of "Ciel Ouvert" evoked images of spiritual delirium. The amazing creativity encapsulated in these synth-rock tracks would make indie favourites like New Order or Depeche Mode blush at their own mediocrity. Get it here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Metro Decay - υπέρβαση (1984)

A classic record from the otherwise anemic Greek new-wave scene. Metro Decay's gloom-rock was electronic flavoured and lyrical ("Μαύρος Κύκνος"), occasionally acquiring an austere and epic tone ("Ανάμεσα σε 2 Κρεσέντα"). They were also capable of crafting ambitious compositions, such as "Το Ταξίδι", that vibrated amidst sinister synthesizer drone-oscillations, a robotic beat, ethereal piano brushstrokes and the melodic outburst of the chorus.

"Εισαγωγή στην Κινηση" was clearly influenced by Joy Division's "Isolation", but the ace up their sleeve was the traditional Greek-music garnishes amidst the frenetic electronic march. The same fundamentals were also applied in "Παιχνίδια στην Επιφάνεια", where the solo splashes veered almost into jazz territory. They were also competent at constructing fluid environments, like in the moving-blindly in the darkness threat of "Απειλή".

The ethereal gloom-rock returned in "Το Πάγωμα του Πάθους", where the cosmic sheen in their music simulated a free-fall in an ecstatic whirlpool. With the robotic beat replaced by a ritualistic trance and abstract symphonic ambience, "Υπέρβαση" reached for a sorrow far deeper - like Fra Lippo Lippi did in In Silence. It was a trend repeated in the galanty-show of "Λίμπιντο", that moved menacingly beneath the surface like a tectonic rift.

Get it here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Sound - shock of daylight (1984)

Having embraced a more pop orientated direction, the Sound gave it their best shot with Shock Of Daylight, starting with the triumphant technicolor splash of "Golden Soldiers", all the while their gloom-rock assumed a more elegant and humane garb in "Longest Days", which was washed off in a melancholic stream in the paean "Counting The Days", and accompanied by minimal strumming and keyboards in "Winter" (the highlight). They also half embraced new-romanticism in the melodic funk-rock "A New Way Of Life" and the nocturnal "Dreams Then Plans". Emotion and melodies had replaced dark-punk edge.

Get it here.