July 21, 2021

Now this is a most interesting release from a band that made something of a stir back in 1998 as producers of indie electro most suitable for the dance floor utilising the remix route. The band passed me by but their songs were picked up by the likes of Pete Tong, Bob Geldof and John Peel plus they have featured on The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and Queer As Folk so some quite influential people thought that they had something to offer. The band split apart after a couple of albums with co-writer and producer Andy Phillips leaving to form Bombay Monkey with Guy Martin and Graham Cupples and James Butler continued on as H2SO4.

Now, some 20 years later they have all joined forces again to produce Love And Death, a rather unique and delicious ambient electro project with something of a funky beat. Think along the lines of Zero 7, Hot Chip, Underworld, Groove Armada and even New Order and you start to get a flavour of what the band sounds like but then you also need to add a little John Foxx, Talk Talk and something of the atmospheric and ethereal leanings of Nosound and No-man and then add a dance beat. Actually, the easiest thing would be just to give the album a couple of listens as it is one of those works that are rather difficult to categorise yet are essential with a vitality that totally wins you over.

They are also very keen on building soundscapes to draw you into their world and there is always something going on in the background with snippets of dialogue from a variety of sources with, for example, the truly mesmerising Missing You taking on some of the fantasy dialogue from the sublime and surreal David Niven World War II film A Matter Of Life And Death; the song and film are both examples of pure genius at work. The album appeals on so many levels as the dance beat draws you in and the electronic musings give it an ethereal and slightly not of this world quality yet there is a pop sensibility throughout that makes the music so infectious and damned enjoyable.

The album, as the title suggest, deals with issues of love and death and the band has produced several videos to bring the songs to life and some of which are rather chilling particularly the nuclear video to accompany the track Don’t Delete Me. If you are looking for something just a little left of centre then you will find this something of a dark electro delight and there is so much happening in the album that it just feels a little different with each play which makes it something quite remarkable and well worthy of examination.

To dismiss it as a lightweight work is to miss out on a work of grand beauty and pure genius.

Love And Death track list

  1. Machine Love (4:40)
  2. Gangsta (4:33)
  3. We Are In Motion (4:18)
  4. Don’t delete Me (3:24)
  5.  Missing You (8:02)
  6. Hello Spacegirl (5:01)
  7. She Weirds Me Out (4:36)
  8. No Poems (3:16)
  9. We Are Millions (4:32)