Following on from last year’s comeback album Delusion, the underground electro legend Beta Evers (Brigitte Enzler) continues her characteristically stealthy re-infiltration of the contemporary scene with her appearance on this split 12” from Bristol’s specialist Peripheral Minimal label.
Evers’ ‘Hiding’ is a typically spiky introduction. It’s awkward, angular electro, with Evers’ noir vocals warning of “something you cannot hide”. It could equally be a tale of betrayal through body language or a lament for the surveillance regimes we live under.
The quietly epic ‘Soundtrack For A Tomorrow’ combines a slow beat set against seductive, funereal warmth of the analogue textures. It’s a true noir classic to set alongside bleak electronic classics such as DAF’s ‘Alles ist Gut’ or ADULT.’s ‘We Know How To Have Fun’. Her plaintive reminder that “there is always a tomorrow” is seductively discomforting and memorable.
‘Innerhalb Der Zeit’ is an even bleaker coda to the Beta Evers side. Here she collaborates again with her American collaborator Heinrich Mueller of Dopplereffekt, with whom she’s previously worked on the 2011 Gedankenexperiment 12”and the collaborative project Zwischenwelt. This track is even more subdued and slow, and Mueller’s coldly futuristic sequences and icy pulses add a coldly futuristic sheen. It’s a natural and sympathetic intervention that works chillingly well.
There’s quite a (deliberately?) strong contrast between the icy A-side and the more laconic, playful Spatial Relation tracks on the B-side, which provide a degree of light relief. Relative newcomers Spatial Relation are married couple Lissette and Jacob Schoenly from New York who follow in the American electropop tradition of ADULT. Spatial Relation use similar templates for their angst-driven electro, however the Spatial Relation version of this sound is slightly more pop, with less Sturm und Drang and more world-weary New York irony.
‘Highly Questionable’ could even be the title of an ADULT. track but the approach is different. Built around a really interesting tumbling chord sequence, it has a minimalistic but funky style.
On ‘Last Night I Dreamt’, they display a darker, stricter side. The vocals are multi-tracked and seem to be dripping in irony. The closing ‘Spectrum Of Hues’ is faster and more urgent, proceeding at a galloping pace. Taunting vocals chant ‘hide and seek, look at me’ as the track races to a convincing conclusion.
Overall, this is an interestingly polarised split release, showing contrasting European and American approaches to electro. Different audiences will gain more or less from either side but there will be others who enjoy the contrast between these artists and the different moods they create.
From Speak and Spell to Laibach.