Music Review by EDF
Electro pop has developed over the last thirty years, thanks to the granddaddy of electronic music, Kraftwerk. We had the early 80’s electric pop groups such as OMD and Depeche Mode, which then developed into classic house music and then from acid house to rave to modern dance music as we know it. UK outfit Radium88 have not gone down this route. Instead they have taken a little bit of Kraftwerk, mixed in with some Brian Eno, Ambient music and Philip Glass haunting melodies and all these elements have been put into an Orb and given a very good shake.
The opening LET THERE BE LITE is a violin led track played by Clare Hunt, a chilled out number that nearly heads off towards Jean Michel Jarre territory. This is followed by the hauntingly beautiful but eerie NOCTURE, a piano led track with another track cutting in as if there were two radio stations fighting for the same frequency. SLEEPWALK introduces us to the first vocal track on the album supplied by Jema Davis who, according to her biography, has saved the world fifteen times over and manages to still have time to record music with the band. Whenever there are vocals, they sound like a mixture of Clannad and Enya but warmer.
The title track is another chilled out effort that evokes images of being underwater in a submarine, just travelling along in the quiet depths of the planet’s ocean. NOSTALGIA FOR A TIME THAT NEVER WAS could nearly come straight from a David Lynch movie and this leads us to a couple of tracks which showcases the group’s darker material, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE DEEP END and SOMETIMES THEY GET INTO THE MACHINES. There is enough light to take you out of the darkness where the chord driven LULLABY sounds like the dawn of a new day. For those who do not think the group can do a dance track should listen to TWO FOUR SORROW, which does sound out of place but does prove that the group can put their own mark on what could have been another dance track done by any dance artist.
The group have been together since 1996 and after a number of albums, you know you are in good hands if you are after a chilled out electronic album that does not get your heartbeat racing above 120 mph. Radium88 are a legit live band so it would be interesting to see if they can recreate their studio sound. The closing track on the album is the epic ENTER HYPERSPACE and it sounds like the group are heading off to visit new worlds. I hope they come back soon.