gullbuy music review





Ideal Records

various artists CD

FlexiPopThe amount of electro compilations hitting the shelves these days is enough to sour one on the genre altogether.

If you find yourself avoiding the Various Artists section in fear of browsing through a hundred identical (electro-*add suffix of your choice*) comps, you are not alone. Do not give up hope. Help is on the way, courtesy of Ideal Records.

'Flexipop,' the fourth release on UK's Ideal, is one of the most refreshing electronic compilations to reach my ears. With cover art featuring a neon yellow- jacket with syringes for legs and wings with embedded smiley faces, 'Flexipop' immediately distinguishes itself from the generic 'electro' offering. And, while this comp. does include its share of standards, the majority of the songs are nice slices of punky electropop, much more 'clash' than 'electro,' if you fancy today's terminology.

Aside tracks from Felix da Housecat, Miss Kitten + the Hacker, and Peaches + Gonzales are great songs from Mogul, Add N to (X), Mocky, and others. Mogul is Stuart Antony Smith, an artist regularly featured in the Gullbuy. He first appeared on the Organ Radio 5 compilation (August 31, 1999 gullbuy) with the excellent 'Fan of Can,' and his contribution to 'Flexipop' is the equally hilarious 'I'll spit on You.'

Definitely my favorite song here, 'I'll spit on You' combines a dirty, pulsing synth loop with a punked-out vocalist describing how he'll 'spit on you' and how his wife will 'spit on you too.' The Add N to (X) track is nothing remarkable, but is a nice inclusion, fitting in well between the Mogul track and one from an artist called Hiem.

Another of my favorites, Hiem's 'Japanese Motor Car #1' reminds me of the Golden Boy with Miss Kittin song 'Autopilot.' Both tracks have dark, driving grooves over smooth vocals about driving in cars at night. While Hiem's vocals are borderline-cheesy in comparison to Miss Kitten's, 'Japanese Motor Car #1' remains one of 'Flexipop''s most appealing moments.

Mocky's 'Shake your ass (before you lose it)' makes my third favorite with shuffling jazzy beats under a excellent bassline, and well-placed samples. Even Princess Superstar, an artist who I normally loathe, contributes an enjoyable song here.

'Flexipop' closes with something from an artist known as Rework. The song 'Amoureuse' is soothing pop with someone named Laetitia doing spoken-French vocals. Though I doubt the vocalist is any Laetitia that I am familiar with, she makes the song an immediate favorite even though it lacks the rough edges that make much of 'Flexipop' so nice.

This comp. feels like a refreshing choice for the fan of today's electro standards and tomorrow's sleazy pop.

---Andrew Culler, August 13, 2002