Vinyl 7" £5.99 FKSP005
7" on Finders Keepers.
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The teenage pet project of Andy Popplewell (who has since gone on become on of the UK’s leading independent tape engineers/editors/archivists) is a quite unique record but one which fits in with the recent vogue for re-issues from the most unlikely and unusual of sources. Popplewell at aged 17 built his own synthesizer - which is an achievement in itself - before recording his musings.
The original 1981 LP version of ‘Electronic Rock’ is amazing. It’s full of fizzy synths, drum machines and Popplewell’s wavering tenor. It all sounds somewhere between early Human League and a Gary Numan B side of the era. It really is excellent and the naive of-the-era lyrics just make it even more endearing. The album from which it came sadly was limited to the one copy that Popplewell kept for himself but I hope a re-issue is forthcoming. The 1983 Instrumental Version (actually the A side here) is more realised but the better production doesn’t ruin any enjoyment and the record is an incredible achievement producing a layer of primitive, electronic music which will appeal to fans of Kraftwerk, DAF and BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
6/10 Mr Pearls Brain Customer review, 24th March 2017
A "real people" record par excellence, the original mix has a motorik kraut-synth vibe plus that wobbly top end you love from the original version of the Doctor Who theme, coupled with some very ropey teenage vocals which are frankly off-key, and sound like the poor chap knows they're not very good. The later studio version jettisons the vocals and the wobbly top end and sounds like something a proper band might have put out, and so not very "real people" at all. I would have liked an instrumental of the original mix, preferably extended to the very limits of the 7" single, but it was not to be. Respect due: what was I doing at that age? Not building synthesisers, for sure. Great cover too.
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