Last week I was digging through a pile of CDs in search of music to play at the Art Gallery. One of the CDs I dug up was Kuchen Meets Mapstation (Karaoke Kalk). It had been a long time since I had listened to it – and obviously I hadn’t paid much attention at the time. It was released in 2003 and two review copies had landed at Cyclic HQ and one went to Serena Armstrong who posted a review. and then that was that.
Maybe I had played it a few times at Frigid but likely not. Anyway, since digging it out I’ve given it a thorough re-listening – and its wonderful. What kindled my interest in the album was that Kuchen is infact Meriel Barham who used to sing for the Pale Saints, one of my favourite bands of the very very early 90s and perhaps the best ‘shoegazer’ indie group of the period. (I actually interviewed her for 3D World at the tail end of their career in 1994 – Ian Masters had left the band and Barham had taken over the vocals and songwriting).
Kuchen Meets Mapstation is full of the old synth pulses and blips which reminded me of something else. I was racking my brains until last night when I pulled out Hypnotone’s album AI (Creation). Hypnotone was one of the late ‘balearic’ bands and their only album appeared on Creation which was experimenting with ‘dance music’ at the time. Hypnotone did the production on Primal Scream’s Slip Inside This House and had some classic remixes – Sheer Taft’s Cascades and Primal Scream’s Come Together. After that they pretty much disappeared.
Most of AI sounds terribly dated, but there are a few tracks which are similar in style to Kuchen Meets Mapstation, albeit over a decade earlier. On God CPU you can hear that bubbling synth . . . . ahhhh.