Sunday, May 14, 2017

Video Review: SPECTRA*paris Star Bubbles by Dave Wolff

From their new full length "Retromachine Betty" released May 12 (Dependent Records)
Music, Lyrics and Arrangements by Elena Alice Fossi (incl. a fragment taken from Mike Oldfield's "Moonlight Shadow", performed by SPECTRA*paris)
Production and mixing: Elena Alice Fossi, John Fryer and Hal Bergmann
It’s been a while since I followed SPECTRA*paris and I happened across their new promo video by chance, so I decided to discover what my thoughts would be about it. I first discovered the band’s electro-industrial-ambient-goth-pop from a live clip of their song Spectra Murder Show recorded in Sweden in 2009. Contacting vocalist Elena Alice Fossi I listened to various CDs, singles and videos including Spectra Murder Show, Carrie Satan, Dead Models Society and Christmas Ghouls. All these were refreshingly out of the ordinary for their tech-noir themes. The band always displayed a certain proficiency for merging guitars, keyboards and programming into a wall of sound that is both visionary and ominous. As an aside, the same can be said for Fossi’s other projects like Kirlian Camera whose conceptual theme has slight but noticeable differences (check out their cover of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb). Star Bubbles gave me an idea as to where SPECTRA*paris is going conceptually in 2017. An exodus from their previous outings, it still has guitars as an important part of their sound but leans closer to multiple keyboard and electronic tracks. What sets it apart is an ageless vintage feel returning to MTV’s early days with videos from Buggles, Devo, Peter Schilling and Planet P, years before Headbangers’ Ball and Beavis & Butthead. In those days MTV was pushed as music’s next evolutionary step, but unfortunately bands were left behind and videos banned for content for the sake of political correctness. Star Bubbles in contrast represents what MTV would have been without playlist screenings. The imagery is undeniably retro with memorabilia dating to the 50s and the ‘80s, robotic musicians, walls adorned with vinyl albums, quasi-futuristic microphones lit from the inside and androids coming to life. This is part of a larger narrative which, according to Dependent Records, is a time machine traveling back to one’s youthful discovery of music and the lifestyles that embodied them. Fossi becomes a cyber Eve taking you to revisit sampling the forbidden fruits of those times, transforming them into a science fiction film with elements of THX-1138, A Clockwork Orange and The Matrix. Retromachine Betty just came and you can contact the band or their label for ordering information. -Dave Wolff

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