No flutes were touched in the making of this concrete catalogue of 1st World Problems.
A new record from Lust for Youth – along with the recent excellent records from Vår and Pharmakon it seems that the marvellous Sacred Bones label is really running with the idea of creating some kind of aesthetic. Well from the outside looking in, anyway. This whole new Cold Wave thing is a strongly defined style, for sure, with many devotees and a pedigree that- you could argue, stretches back through Numan’s Telekon or Pleasure Principle, those old Sky records artists like Reichmann and original Cold Wave stuff like Ruth or Gestalt. Fine by me!
I’m sure you’ll know what you get – or want to get - if you buy this LP: and I can confirm there are no real surprises. No flutes were touched in the making of this concrete catalogue of 1st World Problems. The overall sound is still fuggy, the gestures and sonic patterns still enigmatic (if not really obtuse, I mean this kind of synthetic, sub-industrial sound is still a simple conceit at heart) and Hannes Norrvide is obviously still concerned with chronicling all manners of ill-defined 21st century urban angst. I Found Love is a sinister opener, the sample of the girl crying seems to contradict the song’s message, maybe not… Another Day and Perfect View are as perky as it gets: the former akin to an old, old Depeche Mode track being played in an echoing, drained Olympic pool, the title track emulating the sort of undefined, ravey thing you’d hear thudding along in a flat above your bedroom round 1988-9.
This love of sounding fuzzy, in another room, this sense of distance, the lack of actual, “normal” contact, it can threaten to overwhelm the listener and indeed the LP itself at times. The only track where you sense that the pea souper may lift and display a different range of light and shade is Image, and that’s over in about a minute. No; the feeling that human social connections and interactions are somehow malfunctioning is very strong in claustrophobic tracks like Barcelona and Kirsten, or the pulsating Vibrant Brother.
So there you have it. You know if you’ll like it before you’ve heard it. As you were, raincoats on!