Camouflage Feat. Peter Heppner - "Count On Me" - (4:42) 96 BPM
Greyscale - (4:24) 80 BPM
Still - (4:56) 60 BPM
Misery - (3:55) 80 BPM
Leave Your Room Behind - (4:51) 50 BPM
Light Grey - (1:16) 140 BPM
If ... - (4:52) 100 BPM
End Of Words - (5:42) 148 BPM
Dark Grey - (3:06) 148 BPM
I'll Find - (6:11) 78 BPM
Synth pop veterans Camouflage have been in the game for a long old time, with their first album harking back to the mid 80s when they were starting out in Stuttgart suburb Bietigheim-Bissingen. Now some thirty years later their sound is a big, highly polished exercise in high-end studio dynamics and catchy hooks which will no doubt satisfy their long-standing fans. There are some more brooding moments such as "Count On Me" featuring Peter Heppner and the haunting "Still", while there's plenty of space for introspective electronic ballads such as "In The Cloud" with its resonating "thinking too much, losing the touch" vocal refrain.
After a few well-received releases on labels like Throne of Blood and Rawax, In Fields aka Ed Cox and Raoul Marks, unveil their debut album. It's a loose, freeform collection that starts with the dubbed out, mid-tempo grooves of "Feature Length" and "Speakeasy", where trance breakdowns and tingling percussive licks seem to evolve in slow motion. It feels like In Fields record their music at a different pace to other house acts; indeed, "Serpentine" has a similarly languid pace, only this time they sound like Efdemin played at 33rpm, as chiming bells crawl along. There are some unusual dance floor tracks on Phantoms, particularly the insistent, filter-led "Rise Up", but as the jangling guitar of "To The Limit" demonstrates, this is a highly unpredictable collection.
There can be few curves in artistic development between albums as the one Jam City has undertaken here with Dream A Garden. His 2012 debut album Classical Curves has had a seismic influence on the structure of much UK club music since then, but instead of further developing and finessing those sonic ideas Jack Latham has gone a whole other route into fully fledged song writing. Or perhaps not, Night Slugs suggest the nine track album is not a total break from the hyper-realised world Latham explored on Classical Curves, it should be seen as an inversion, asking "what becomes of the people struggling to live and love beneath the chrome-plated, vacuous and superficial machinery that we must fight to see beyond?" A bold move by artist and label that demands further investigation!