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variousartists transglobalexcess1
Artist: Various Artists
Title: Trans Global Excess #1
Genre: Electronic
Release Date: 4th December 2020
Label: Specchio Uomo

Album Review

There was a time when labels regularly released compilations of the bands on their roster, a kind of showing off “look who I’ve got” while using the opportunity to push their less-known signings and newbies into the public consciousness. How I remember waiting with anticipation for the ‘Cold Meat Industry’ label double album sampler, way back in the 90s, and the growing realisation that there was a reason for much of the contents obscurity as I ploughed through its endlessness. However it’s genuinely good to see the practice is still alive and well, and label Specchio Uomo are about to release a showcase of bands loosely fitting under the electronica umbrella, and encompassing Italo, Nu-Disco and Synth Pop. Described by label kingpin James Knights as “Music by friends we’ve met on the road and at shows over the years”, this instantly gives it a satisfying non-commercial appeal and makes you want dive in and take a listen.

It’s certainly an interesting mix. BOYTRONIC get things off to a solid start, all cascading synths and an insistent beat. Somewhere an ad-executive needs to pick this up and get it on the TV to flog a funky new Renault or must-have mobile app - it has that ability to crawl very swiftly into your head without being in the least bit annoying. ITALOVE follow this with a demo so cheesy it must have been road-tested at a children’s party whereas ITALOCONNECTION mixes LAURA BRANIGAN with DEAD OR ALIVE, and let’s be honest, that’s not something you’re going to hear every day. There’s an instrumental from THE HOOLIGAN, breezily blowing in the warm summer air, but not strong enough to dislodge those sunglasses from the top of your head. The awesome PSYCHE sound like the real deal - which they are - on ‘Uncivilized’, those MARK ALMOND-style vocals crawling all over the dark bluesy synths.

Elsewhere, there’s measured melancholy from LAKESIDE X, sparkling pop by ROXI DRIVE, and the bizarre synth-punk chanting of CONTINENTAL LIASON - electro aliens anyone? There are times when it’s hard to know just how seriously you should be taking some of this stuff of course. CAPITAL X dip themselves heavily in that considerably generous cheese-pool, for example, as do MANGELEXEMPLAR, although there’s a wonderfully cold roboticism running through their KRAFTWERK-lite. And THE INDEPENDENT SEASONS could almost be THE SHADOWS covering a NEW ORDER instrumental. It’s glorious. Which leaves KOMPUTER KID to march you off to an optimistic 2021 with a smile on your face, all beeps and bleeps and infectious beats.

There’s much to like here, and the whole project feels lovingly compiled, and not just chucked together. If generally upbeat electro-pop is not your thing, then perhaps this will ruin your carefully cultivated black mood. But give it a go. Its cheeky hedonism has much to be admired, and all this 2020 gloom and doom can’t last forever, right?


01. Boytronic - You Can’t Get Fooled By Love (Ant People Remix)
02. Italove - Soldiers Of Love (Demo 2012)
03. Italoconnection - Now Or Never (Naked Mix)
04. The Hooligan - If There Was No Gravity
05. Psyche - Uncivilized (Dark Italo Mix)
06. Lakeside X - Wonder (Radio Edit)
07. Broken Ego - When The Lights Go Out
08. Roxi Drive (Ft. Let’s Talk) - Drifting
09. Trademark - So Agitated
10. Continental Liason - Machine Beat
11. SNS Sensation - Discoboom
12. Plasmaschwartz - Mein Kopf
13. Capital X - Stingray
14. Mangelexemplar - Gold
15. Broken Links - Pioneers
16. The Independent Seasons - The Visitor
17. Komputer Kid - Summer Again


Various Artists

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variousartists transglobalexcess1


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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