Wednesday 29 January 2014

Mechanimal - Obscure

Single review by

It's often said that recessions produce great music, and a prime example was the punk explosion that grew from the disastrous economic downturn in the 1970s. Could the well-publicised financial crisis in Greece be the reason why we're hearing so much great music from the country all of a sudden? Or is it simply the ever evolving musical landscape of the internet that's providing us easier access to sounds that have been there all along? That's probably a debate for another time, all that really matters is that following an excellent debut album last year, Athens group Mechanimal are back with the first single from the forthcoming follow-up, and that they're sounding perhaps even better than before.

References to the darker side of post-punk and new-wave (particularly Depeche Mode) were littered across the album, but on 'Obscure' they take the music made by such groups and reinvent it for a new generation. This doesn't sound like a trip down memory lane, it sounds like now. Sure, krautrock and early electronic pioneers as well as the darkwave of the early '80s is an influence, but that's all. They don't replicate it. 'Obscure' is a deadpan vocal delivery on top of the constant screech of electronics hidden right at the back of the mix, and it's also a driving and constant journey through industrial wastelands that have suddenly come to life to spew forth this mechanical, almost robotic electro-pop. The twist here is that this isn't bleak or cold, Mechanimal allow a human touch and a warmth to filter through as well, connecting the two worlds together in a new way.

Mechanimal's website

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