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Supersystem - A Million Microphones

2006-11-03 13:44
There are some bands that manage to capture that very eighties art-pop feeling: cerebral and romantic music with the ability to move you mindlessly into a strange dance of your own invention.

We’re not talking about modern “indie” here. There’s nothing truly retrospective about the new slew of Britpop bands throwing their guitars into the overdrive room for all and sundry to shake their uncut hair over. No, we’re talking about a for more accurate sense of retro – one that recognises Krautrock, New York Punk and New Romantic sensibilities as more important than rocking out with your proverbial twinkies out.

Some critics tend to simply label music like this as ‘Art pop’, and it is probably the most appropriate term you could use, based as it is in a specific structural idea. Supersystem reproduce that structure so well, it’s tempting to think that they’d have iconic pop status had they released this stuff 25 years ago. Listening to “The Lake”, the second track off A Million Microphones you’ll catch yourself thinking you’ve timewarped into a Duran Duran or Japan dance party. Immediately after, on “Eagles fleeing Eyries” you’d swear that Nick Heyward had a case for a comeback.

But couple those admittedly retro tonal references with some brisk and energetic production – check out the beautiful harp lick on “Eagles…” - and you’ve got a record that may be worth a lot more than its indie / underground status suggests. Probably not for everyone, but a genuinely pleasing artefact if you can connect it to 1981.

- Anton Marshall
It’s not for everybody, but those who understood the musical movement of the early eighties will have nostalgic tears streaming down their faces.


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