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- Rituals by Twilight Ritual
9/10 Mike Staff review, 04 December 2012
Here’s a timely reissue of this lost treasure from early ‘80s Belgian coldwavey synthpoppy types Twilight Ritual, the original of which was going for collector prices. Opening with some steady, patient submarine noises, they soon settle into a dark, metronomically paced voyage of minimal analogue tomfoolery and smooth, melodic vocals.
Considering when it was made, the technology on display here is pretty varied and used in quite a measured but playful way, and the mixture of experimentation and slick, full-sounding pop music is perfectly balanced. If you’re into early ‘80s analogue pop, don’t be put off by the “coldwave” labels that continually get thrown at this band - there’s a streak of darkness running through many of the tracks but this is really a synthpop record above all else. I’m getting elements of Italian horror composers in places, too; interlude ‘Means of Heath’ is well Frizzi.
With the pair displaying an impressive affinity with their massive array of synths and sequencers; all backed by the steady pulse of a TR-808, the mammoth gear list involved here includes “SH-2, Teisco 7, Jupiter 4, JX-3P, Trilogy, Minimoog, Crumar Performer, Roland System-100, syndrums, double cassette player, 2-track tape recorder, 4-track casette deck, tape echo, phaser footpedal and manual flanger, some self built switches, splitters and other weird materials”. They’ve done a super job of taking all that equipment and making an uncluttered, thoroughly enjoyable LP of dark synthpop which fits in well with today’s crop of horror-influenced analogue twiddlers.
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