Marnie - Crystal World
With Ladytron in hiatus, Helen Marnie set out "to create an electronic album with more of a pop element and pristine vocals" for her first solo record. Vocally and musically expansive like an Arctic escapist fantasy, this objective was achieved with Crystal World with the classic pop of ABBA and Mama Cass obviously apparent as well as Marnie"s love of fellow weegies Chvrches.
The brilliant launch single "The Hunter" was the vibrant electropop single that Ladytron never quite got round to releasing while there were other shining jewels like "Hearts On Fire", "We Are the Sea", "High Road" and "Sugarland". Meanwhile, "The Wind Breezes On" was Marnie"s own "Love Is a Stranger" while the neo-acappella "Laura" sat as a lush centrepiece to the collection.
John Foxx & The Maths - Interplay
"Interplay" was possibly John Foxx's most complete and accessible body of work since his classic Metamatic. Together with Chief Mathematician and synth collector extraordinaire Benge aka The Maths, the use of vintage electronics with modern recording techniques captured a mechanised charm while simultaneously adding a correlative warmth.
Among the realised examples of this fresh approach were the feisty "Catwalk", the electro-folkisms of "Evergreen" and the eerie "The Running Man". One of the stand-out tracks "Watching a Building On Fire" featured Mira Aroyo of Ladytron and was perfectly dystopian, while the title track and closer "The Good Shadow" both added a subtle atmospheric quality to proceedings.