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For its second release, Strangelove resurrects two cuts from Australian cult synth pop duo Arvo’s much-mythologised 1984 album “Luna”. Having spent time in Europe and with heads & hearts 
full of the continent’s synth-pop movements, Deborah Gray and Roy Nicolson each returned Down-under to discover
 a doggedly rock orientated landscape. Finding solace in Roy’s studio and inspired by their musical O.E.’s, the ARVO concept was formed and an album took shape. A glamorous visual/electronic opus, major label misjudgment and local bewilderment left ‘Luna’ to unjustly slip under the radar.

Rescued here, “Bikini” channels an Ipanema electronic vibe, nostalgically recalling Antipodean beach culture while the synthetic undercurrents of
”So Deep” reflect on the nature of our dreams. Also presented is a reimagined “So Deep’’ instrumental from Australia’s synth pop scholar-in-chief Hysteric, while French M.O.T.M. Shelter tailors Bikini into an excursion version.


Patrick says: Well here we have it folks, Strangelove return with the follow to that gorgeous Lena D'Agua release, a top notch blast of Australian synth pop from Arvo. The playful Balearic pop of "Bikini" grooves along nicely with nuanced percussion, pre-Twin Peaks weirdness and irresistible resort melodies while the white guy synth funk of "So Deep" rolls its pastel sleeves up and shuffles into the heart of the discotheque. On the flip, Parisian synth prince Shelter lends 'Bikini' some aquatic electronics and a new arrangement, while Aussie-Italophile Hysteric dubs "So Deep" into an irresistible Cowley style throbber.


Temple / Tranquil

Primarily known as a master of energetic Italo euphoria, Hysteric shuns the dancefloor here, slowing the tempo for a couple of swooning sample-based tracks that should delight anyone on a Balearic tip. A million miles away from his frothy rockers on Public Possession, "Temple" treats us to subtle percussion idents, mystic synth licks and a slow and steady drum box beat. Evocative and immersive, this sounds exactly like you're lurking in the undergrowth staring at an 8-bit altar. Over on the flip, "Tranquil" gets this week's Ronseal award, serving up a dreamy leadline, pastoral accompaniment and a laid back groove. Slip your moorings and float on by amigo.


Patrick says: Hysteric takes a break from Italo heaters here, opting instead to cool us down with a couple of exotic, esoteric grooves steeped in Eastern spices. Brilliantly Balearic...

After at least one week away from the release sheets, Australia's prolific king of Italo foth makes a welcome return to Violette Szabo with four more sensual DJ cuts! If you like your synth-pop and Italo sweet, sleazy and appropriately cheesy, this is the deep digger you turn to - and once again Hysteric comes through with the goods. "Moonlight" opens the set in dramatic fashion, merging swooning sequences, hypnotic percussion and distorted guitar into the kind of thing you'd expect to hear in straight to TV teen drama from 1986. Throw in some totally ridiculous vocals (sample lyric..."What's the worth of my bohemian charm, when all the girls lay in someone else's arms") and you're away, mopping your brow with a sweatband and dancing into the distance. The cinematic feel continues with "Voix", a emotional pop peach with precise woodblocks, bubbling synth bass and slick guitar licks. After a slow and steady build, the tension breaks and the track segues into some spoken French vocals dripping with Gallic charm. Skip to the flip and "F.F." brings the drama for the Bboys out there, delivering heavy bass sounds, metallic synth percussion and Miami Vice style guitar. If you've planning on taking your sports car for a sunset spin anytime soon, I'd suggest this as the soundtrack. Last but not least, "Vocoder Lady" is a dreamy, nearly Balearic disco cut, complete with snapping snare, bouncy bass and you guessed it, vocoder. Here for a good time, not a long time, so snap a copy up sharpish.

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