Between The Funk and The Fear by Hologram Teen
Creepy melodies, catchy tunes = fun listening
Following up her excellent Marsangst EP from last year, Hologram Teen (aka Morgane Lhote, ex-Stereolab) has effortlessly extended her oeuvre with Between The Funk and The Fear, a full-length album of exquisite, electronic Pop. Lovers of the full-length format will appreciate that one key factor in measuring quality is "number of listens before boredom takes grip". And another is "number of listens before appreciation begins". For me, it took at least five listens for the latter and (at twelve) I'm nowhere near the former.
While the track titles hint at fun and frivolity (try Post-Apocalypteacakes, Lesbian Death Drums or Roller Lover Doppelganger for size) the music is sincere and painstakingly accomplished; complex sound design, intricate drum programming, a myriad of live and digital instrumentation and earwormy melodies all combine to great effect. Squeezing onto one side of a cassette tape, we get eleven tracks, literally packed with energy and drama. It's electronic music but the influences are profuse, from the soundtracks of John Carpenter to 1970s French Disco to psychedelic Brazilian rock. In the end though, the result is singularly Hologram Teen.
Lhote describes her aims:
With this first LP, I wanted to create the soundtrack to the trippiest horror movie ever, and combine the scary and the absurd, through a very tongue in cheek aesthetic both musically and visually.
Which is exactly what she's done! A slyly humorous album with a distinct filmic vibe. I'm particularly enjoying the tracks with a schlocky or dreamy narrative, like Tracksuit Minotaur with its vocal snippet, blowing wind and weird tension or Roller Lover DoppelgaÌˆnger with its slowmo disco chorus. The collaboration with Sukia has produced a highlight; something that wouldn't sound out of place on a Tarantino soundtrack.
Released by London label Polytechnic Youth, who promote library sounds and electronic experiments in kosmische, Between... finds the perfect home for this hugely infectious album. And with each listen I may have Lhote's smiley face foremost in my mind but I can't help but think she's got something sinister up her sleeve!
- Rating: 8/10
- Listens: 12
- Highlight: Tracksuit Minotaur
- Label: Polytechnic Youth
- Release Date: 2nd October, 2017