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Here’s a mini-LP from veteran Finnish trio Aavikko, a group featuring members of Circle, Pharaoh Overlord, etc, who rock that synths vs live drums aesthetic with bouncing grooves and cheeky, squelchy earworm melodies which will appeal to people who enjoy the likes of Apparat Organ Quartet, Todd Terje, Sagor & Swing or even Daft Punk, often heading into full-on disco territory. This mostly works but backfires in the audaciously referential ‘CCCP vs USA’, which sounds like Public Service Broadcasting snatching Donna Summer’s purse and running away laughing.
This one misstep aside, though, I’m in synth heaven. Superbly mechanoid atmospherics (the drums aren’t programmed but drummer Tomi Leppanen is robotically precise and consistent and occasional use of the electronic wind instrument is really effective) and pulsating soundtracky synth indulgence drip from the record’s highlights like ‘Machu Picchu’ and ‘Viimeinen Gladiaattori’ and the vocoder-abusing feel-good closer ‘Friendship’, and Finnish pop sensation Slobyn joins them for the infectious title track which is either irritating or brilliant - I’m still yet to decide so it might well be both. It’s the cinematic instrumental numbers I like best, taking horror soundtracks through a cosmic-disco filter with a healthy dose of irreverence and fun. In fact even though I don’t like every track, I like the good bits so much I’m gonna give it five anyway. If you like danceable cheeseball synth action like Kavinsky or the aforementioned Apparat Organ Quartet then you need to check this lot out.
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