Following on from Electro Pop, Electronic Ecstasy builds upon those strengths and pushes further into the EDM, synth-pop, electro-pop stratosphere. Sounding like Giorgio Moroder, Kraftwerk and the Pet Shop Boys had a 3-way (7-way if you count all the core members?) the album uses the musical vocabulary and building blocks available and reassembles them into their own unique universe.
While the opener leans a bit more towards Moroder, “Always (Alone)” falls much more into the realm inhabited by The Pet Shop Boys. Melodic, pulsating and buried in layers and layers of keyboard washes, the song tells the tale of someone living anyone’s/everyone’s lives, but their own.
“Anywhere (But Here)” a wistful tale of seeing your ex (and your life with that ex) walking away by happenstance. A kinetic and tightly sequenced Linn drum machine kicks in when an angular bassline enters, followed by lush keyboard washes, sensual sax leads and cascading piano. With echoes of the 80’s it’s not a complete surprise, as this was written then and had a very limited release back in the day.
“Dream Sequence #3” has a spacey William Orbit feel as it stretches out with a pulsating vibe that expands and contracts.
Following on, a boisterous, unrestrained, high-spirited track, “Celebrate” kicks into gear. With keyboards that might be out of place on some dance albums, the sound encompasses the effusive and playful call to action the title embraces.
“2 Whom” was one of the very earliest songs Munich Syndrome wrote. Coming together one very early morning after an all-night New Year’s Eve didn’t end the way initially envisioned. A song of heartbreak, loss and regret, making the case against the evidence to the contrary. (also the first video to use animated video for Munich Syndrome)
A shift in style, an almost rockabilly intro leads into a new-wave-esque lead tells another story of loss and “Endings” (even a bit of ? and the Mysterians style 96-tears organ for good measure)
“Metro” enters with a bright synthpop bounce and a piano lead that carries the melody forward. Bubbly, effervescent electro moves the song towards a somber synth string breakdown before the fadeout…
A Teutonic robotic lock-step rhythm underpins the machine driven “Dreams (or Memories?)” sounds like a Robot to decipher a past memory or a dream…
Following is, “Fear. Panic. Dread.” An oppressively dark claustrophobic (very bad) dream sequence that was used in two short films.
Following the “Fear, is “Watching You”, An oppressively dark claustrophobic (very bad) dream sequence that was used in two short films. Tubeway Army synths, drums like a battering ram, and a sense of foreboding run roughshod over this track.
After the darkness of “Watching You” comes the bubbly, effervescent, exuberant and relentlessly cheerful synth pop of “Random”. Almost carbonated, this sparking instrumental zips along with a scintillating topline melody.
Back to the 80’s (in the very best possible way) with “extended
mixes” as opposed to “remixes” (where often the original song
barely makes a guest appearance). First up is the bonus track
“Electronic Ecstasy (Extended Ecstasy Mix)”. A grander intro that builds upon the sequencers until a mini anti-climax drops things, before launching into the song full throttle. The essential and original elements of the song remain, but beefed up, amped up and taking you along for the rush and thrust. Superlative electro pop, synth pop, EDM, dance, electronic served up at it’s very finest.
“Always (Alone) (Full Orchestral Mix)” has a very classic 80’s sound and feel (again, in the best possible way ever) that starts with the first notes of a cello with staccato strings behind it. A slow, but insistent drum and hi-hat pulls you along until a fuller string section begins, slowly building, until you are teased with the refrains of synthesizer before the full-throttle sequencers and drum machines kick into the full-realized version of the song. The payoff for a inauthentic life is to be always alone…
“Anywhere (But here) (Here and Now Mix)” is an incredibly pop song that inhabits several genres simultaneously: pop, synth pop, dance with some jazz-inflected piano and sax thrown into the mix. Again, an extended mix that builds and opens up the original with the added treat of a sax solo on the outro…
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