LP £11.49 HMR020
LP on Half Machine Records.
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- Ann Steel Album by Roberto Cacciapaglia
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‘The Ann Steel Album’ is seen as an “anomaly” in Roberto Cacciapaglia’s impressive canon, the Italian electronic composer joining forces with expat American singer/model Ann Steel to depart from his usual stylistic restraints (his other albums use, as the press release so succinctly explains, “every possible permutation of the same six notes”) and make a charming and otherworldly album of electronic pop.
Steel has quite a cold, emotionless voice which brings to mind Laurie Anderson or the Flying Lizards, but with a touch of the falsetto trilling of Joanna Newsom in places too, while the synth-heavy arrangements bring to mind a lightweight Devo or Apparat Organ Quartet, maybe? Total pop, very quirky and at its best on the more upbeat numbers like ‘My Time’ and the krautily propulsive ‘Sport Et Divertissement’. When they slow things down a bit like in ‘Quite Still’ the cracks can start to show and at these points it can seem a little dated and rinky-dink, but considering its 1979 release date I suppose that’s fair enough, and there’s plenty to recommend here for those with a passion for early synth/electronic pop.
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