"I Dream Electric" (Single, 2013)
Released this month is the debut single from Irish duo KuBO. It comes in two formats - a good, old-fashioned cassette tape (featuring some stylish monochrome artwork) courtesy of the Vocoder Tapes label but for those who'd struggle to find a tape deck, there's also a digital download. Chances are you've never heard anything quite list this before. I realise what a bold statement that is but in my experience at least this is unique. Imagine the minimal wave electronics of the likes of Oppenheimer Analysis or perhaps early Human League creating four minute 'pop' songs. Then add the rare vocal style of Aidan Casserly into the mix and you've got the voice of Leee John of Imagination (remember them?) on top. Yeah, exactly.
Casserly has a genuine natural talent and vocal skills. For some, the combination of his voice over minimal wave synths might just be so unexpected that they balk at the idea. The combination seemingly potentially at odds with one another, but for the most part it works. The music, produced entirely on analogue synths, is terrific – even in this small sampling (the are more tracks on the band's SoundCloud page). Of the two tracks I Dream Electric is the immediate one of the two in terms of grabbing the attention of passersby, but for me The Light That Blinds is the finer compositon. KuBO is a fascinating concept and the quality of the delivery is sumptuous. I'm already very curious to hear an album's worth and would love to see this performed live not least to be in the same room as Casserly's voice and those lovely warm pieces of kit. 7/10
Rob Dyer (May 2013)
Empire State Human