Sublimation – Sorted/Sordid
Null Device – Sublimation (Nilaihah)
Sometimes the oddest comparisons come to mind when you're listening to new music. This CD is definitely a case in point. OK, it's synthpop with futurepop elements, at times it brings Depeche Mode to mind, all good. But when names like Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues and Prince pop up, you know this is something different. What makes Null Device stand out from the crowd isn't their musical sound, which, while good and diverse, isn't hugely innovative; it's the vocals. Unlike most synthpop bands, whose vocalists can make all the right noises but aren't particularly brilliant singers, this pair can sing, really sing. This is where the Justin Hayward comparison comes in, they really are that good at times, and when they go for harmonies, particularly on the fabulous 'If only for a while', wow! The Prince comparison, on the other hand, is easy to spot, 'Call of the rose' is 'When doves cry' given a funky techno sound and new lyrics, it just is. This also includes a bleepy synthpop version of 'There is a light', the Smiths track, that will probably have purists retching, but is a great take on the track if you like good synthpop. Null Device serve up a delicious slice of quality electronic music, with some of the best vocals I've heard from this kind of music, an eclectic mix of music taking elements from dance music and the more familiar synthpop and EBM styles, and do it all with style and sophistication. Great stuff.