Sunday, 6 May 2018

New Unisonlab Album "Electrometric" Reviewed

Unisonlab is the name Jorgen Erixon, who is from Sweden, works under and he has an interesting background, he is a classical pianist and has played keyboards in many bands before concentrating on his Unisonlab project.

Since 2014 Unisonlab have released various EP's and last month their debut album "Electrometric" was released on CD via the Razgrom Music label, under licence from independent Machine-Pop label Plonk.

The album opens with the track "Elements", which uses a Bass-Line as its focal point, with quite an interesting rhythm section that works really well with the Bass-Line, lots of well constructed sequencer segments and heavily processed vocals help fill the track out. I also like the way the song develops. "League Of Machines" packs a punch, an erie opening makes way for synthpop melodies, the vocoded vocals are dark and sinister but work well in the context of the track. Some excellent deep electronic sounds balanced out with bright synth melody parts, a standout track on the album.

"Funkfrequenz" is bordering on industrial but with a hint of pop thrown in. Once again the bass sounds are constructed to great effect, reminded me of Kraftwerk in parts, the vocoded and heavily processed vocals work well again and are well produced and given space to shine, some excellent melody parts give this track an excellent blend of sounds.

"Television" is without doubt heavily influenced by Kraftwerk, I just love those sequenced melodies which showcase a softer side to the music of Unisonlab. Brilliant rhythm and bass elements, great use of pad sounds, the vocals are superbly mixed in the song, definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album.

"Apparatus", is excellent, minimalistic drums and a driving bass sequencer make for a fine backdrop to the synth melodies, fantastic use of voice samples too. Very upbeat and I like the structure of the song, another standout track. Next we come to "Stereolab", what can I say about this track?? I was so impressed I created a video for the song (Link to the video is at the end of this review), the best way to describe this song is "Chilled Out Machine Pop", a stunning piece of work, a track I rate as one of the best tracks I have heard in the last 12 months. Very minimal with the vocals taking centre stage, wait until you hear the melody line, it is pure synth heaven, what a song, best track on the album, the album is worth owning for this track alone!

"Eletro Life" is a track I have come across before, infact it was probably the first Unisonlab track I discovered. Very Kraftwerk sounding, especially the delivery of the vocoded vocals. Voice samples are also a feature of the track. Good use of synth sounds and I like the bass-Line and rhythm in the song, an area Jorgen excels. "Interaktion" has a wonderful start with beautiful pad sounds and sequenced melody, this is another song that is quite laid back and chilled, strong vocoded vocals, at times a little overpowering in the mix, but that is a minor observation. The minimal approach musically works very well.

"The One You Seek", is heavily sequenced driven and a powerful sounding track, lots of interesting things going on, quite dark sounding, great drums and another well structured track. The dark elements are punctuated with bright pad sounds, this is one of those tracks that grow on you the more you hear it. "Silent Control" is brilliant, beautiful synth sounds and good use of voice samples, with vocoded vocals that are a perfect fit for the song. The chorus sections are excellent and benefit greatly from the synth sounds Jorgen has used. A melodic masterpiece and a definite highlight of the album.

Next we have a series of bonus tracks, the first, is Unisonlab's own remix of the track "Automatic Pop Composer", the original track appeared on the debut Unisonlab's debut EP "Electro Life (Partition One)". The remix is fantastic, a gentle melody driven remix, bordering on synthpop, a bright and welcome addition to the album, I love it! Next we have Maschine Brennt's remix of "Electro Life", which is outstanding and gives the track a much fuller sound, superbly produced, very upbeat and catchy and is another track on the album that really packs a punch, a top class remix.

Following that we have another Unisonlab remix, this time of the albums opening track "Elements", fantastic choral pads give this an ambient feeling to begin with but it soon develops into a solid Machine-Pop delight, good use of a sequenced Bass-Line, rhythm and synth noises with the choral sounds used again as the song develops, a good mixture of sound on this track.

Kevin Lux provides a remix of "League Of Machines" and does a sterling job, lots of Kevin's trademark sounds and sequencers are employed for this makeover, I especially like the array of sequencer parts on the remix, which I think take the track into a totally different direction, a big favourite of mine, this remix, job well done Kevin.

The album closes with another remix by Maschine Brennt, of the track "The One You Seek". Strong sequencer parts and rhythm on this mix, great use of synthetic sounds and melodic parts, the vocals work very well with the music.

This has been another enjoyable listen, Razgrom and Plonk deserve praise, for taking the music by artists on the Plonk label to another level with releasing full albums on CD, long may it continue! So far we have had CD albums by Datapop, Maschine Brennt and of course Unisonlab, all of which are outstanding releases.

"Electrometric" is a fantastic introduction to the music of Unisonlab, the album is superbly produced, mixed and mastered, you certainly get value for your money as this is a strong set of songs and remixes, the more you listen to it, the more you appreciate what time and effort has gone into the making of this album. If you love your electronic music and of course Kraftwerk you cannot go wrong with this album, it is excellent 9/10

Both the CD and Digital Download of "Electrometric" is available from Bandcamp here:

Watch the Promo Video for a "Radio Edit" of "Stereolab" here:

Find out more about Unisonlab by visiting their Facebook page here:

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