SPECTRA*Paris - Retromachine Betty
Elena Alice Fossi is well known in the electropop and synthpop scene for her work in the cult band Kirlian Camera, but she is also a powerful woman who is not afraid to go out and explore on her own. It is for her very nature that audiences around the world were graced with her side project Spectra*Paris in 2007 wherein Fossi released her solo debut Dead Models Society (Young Ladies Homicide Club) on Trisol. The album went on to receive widespread acclaim and Fossi continued with her career, releasing both License To Kill as well as Christmas Ghouls in 2010 via Out of Line. Though Fossi remained active, things got a little quiet for Spectra*Paris thereafter and it would not be until seismic activity occurred in Spectra*Paris' camp.
It was back in August of 2016 that we here at Brutal Resonance got the news that both Kirlian Camera and Spectra*Paris were signed to the German record label Dependent. That could only mean one thing: new music would be coming soon. It was after that announcement when Fossi announced a brand new solo album Retromachine Betty due out on May 12th. While your mouth waters over new music from the album I can at least tell you all about it.
Retromachine Betty blends older electropop influences into a modern day beast that is both fun, sexy, and nostalgic. The bouncy rhythms of 'Star Bubbles' will send you down a trip on memory lane as the energetic synths brings out yearning for sunny summer trips in a convertible. 'Alice (Geistersterne)' keeps the fun rolling as sweeping pads take control of the ride, while Fossi's inner rockstar takes control in 'Ludovico Technique' as Spectra*Paris' full attitude dominates the reign. 'Machinedream', as almost stated by the title of the track, floats with the clouds as the electronics lifted me up to the nebula above. 'Universal' brings the track back to basics with groovy dance beats suited well for a club environment.
After 'Lux Industries' hits in another delicate electro ballad, I was given a bit of a surprise as Spectra*Paris covered '(Girl) You Really Got Me' by Van Halen. The 80s rock song is transformed into an electro zinger with some sweet sounding synths that are out of a 50s sci-fi flick where UFOs are attempting to invade Earth. 'Metrolynx' morphs between sweet and soothing electro-ambient moments back to the smooth and inviting synthpop I have been drowning in since the start of the album. Though starting out as if it is going to move into dark techno territory, 'E-Girl Song' moves through various beats as if the song is bi-polar. The last song on the album 'E-Kitsch Souvenir of Italy' is an experimental piece that is definitely an ode to everything and anything sci-fi related. It's odd, puzzling, but curiously inviting with all of its waves, blips, and bloops. It may throw some people off but when the title of the album is Retromachine Betty I thought it fit right in.
Spectra*Paris has possibly made the best record in her career with Retromachine Betty. Her voice, as usual, is magical and always matches the beat, tone, and overall suggestion of every single one of the songs. Like a chameleon, she blends in with her environment with ease. That being said, the electropop on the album is equally as impressive as her voice, always differing one song completely from the other without ever pausing the action. Retromachine Betty is coming for you with the full force of addicting dance beats and a songstress for the ages. Two thumbs up!May 10 2017
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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