News Column

Return to the golden age of electronica

May 2, 2013


IF THERE'S one electronica album you buy this year I'd make it On Ponzi Bridge by HealeyIsland, writes Lee Trewhela.

The music of Hayle's Greg Healey recalls the greats of the electronic age: Throbbing Gristle, The Human League, Foetus, Kraftwerk, etc, but there's enough of Healey's own humorous, off- kilter personality to make this his own.

Like all the best music made with analogue synths and technology it's fine-tuned to be brain-tingling melodic but otherworldly and just a little bit evil and removed.

An unusual blend of the catchy and the strange, this album - released on White Label Music on Monday - delivers a wry commentary on 21st-century culture and society.

Highlights include Entertainment where all celebrity culture is cast to the wind in a few minutes of sinister beauty; a tad Fad Gadget and early Simple Minds.

The End Of History, a dry-witted look at our disposable way of living, and Realism with its Bowie's Low meets Magazine sonic texture are also standouts.

The towering monolith synth provides the best intro I've heard this year on Play About You, a stalker anthem gone wrong with some very funny, if queasy, lyrics.

Inspired by such diverse sources as the scores of Aaron Copland and the music of The Residents, On Ponzi Bridge is Healey's most concise collection to date.

He has fans in high places too. BBC 6 Music's Tom Robinson said of The End Of History: If this gets widely played on the radio it'll instantly become one of those tunes that transports people back to the specific time and era when they first heard it. An instant nostalgia for those good old days of spring 2013.

The album is a welcome respite from all the surfy singer- songwriters in Cornwall.


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