The Softsynth Flavour of the Month – Huski

We’ve gone back and forth on the newest Huski album so often and so aggressively we have whiplash.

Background first; Huski’s debut album, Love Peace Pain was a pure electronic delight. The coupling of Melanie Garside and instrumentalist Pike made for a perfect blend that resulted in what this blog named one of the best electronic albums of the last decade (and so it was). A lot of years have passed since then and it would be a reasonable guess to suggest Garside had moved full-time onto her Maple Bee project. But in one of the longest rollouts ever (save for Ashbury Heights’ last album and the eventual appearance of Javellyn), their sophomore album Strangelove finally, finally limped out of the gate. When did it actually come out? Depends on who you ask. Some have suggested it’s been available in some form for a couple of years, others say it was released on August, yet iTunes doesn’t carry it still and it’s nigh-on impossible to find, but out it is with a 2011 date appended. And yet word from the band’s website is there is yet another album now on the coming soon radar, a self-titled work that is the result of a collaboration with Psychemagik. The production duo were brought in to mix a song and as the band report: 

THE RESULT WAS A GRINDING DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA, TOPPED WITH TWINKLING KEYBOARDS AND UNDERPINNED BY A TWISTED DARK BASSLINE. WOW, THAT’S PERFECT, LET’S GET THEM TO PRODUCE ANOTHER SONG, AND ANOTHER ONE, AND ANOTHER ONE! 10 TRACKS LATER THE ALBUM WAS FINISHED; WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY HUSKI, PRODUCED BY PSYCHEMAGIK, AND WITH ALL-NEW ARTWORK AND VISUAL IMAGERY BY LONG-TERM COLLABORATOR JAM SUTTON

Sounds interesting. A new single  “Sleeps Over” is now due.

This direction is interesting for a couple of reasons, first because it seems like Strangelove was just kind of dumped and secondly because Strangelove is a weird duck of an album than for half its length betrays no real sign of being an electronic album. Early songs like “Girl Kill Smile” and “Wartime Widow” were competent but sounded like any traditional drums-bass-guitar rock band could have produced them. Nowhere to be found was the delightful, twinkly band that produced that stunning debut. With each little leak we caught the album failed to move us. Yet when we finally got to listen to the while thing, we were blown away. In many ways we’ve got two albums co-existing here, one the aforementioned guitar album and the other a dirty-electronic album that blows the roof off the place. “Close to the Edge” gave us goosebumps the first time we heard this awesome wall of sound ballad; “Crying on the Telephone” sounds like the best song no one ever got around to recording in the 80s; “Three More Days” bubbles and bleeps delightfully; “Senseless” is a huge dark electro thumper. Terrific production (this is a BIG wall-to-wall sound) and Garside proves yet again she has one of the sexiest, most compelling and powerful voices in electronic music.

The album is a delight and only doesn’t get an official review because we were unable to pin it to a release date that would make it feel timely. That said, it’s a corker of an album that’s loud, fast, aggressive and kicks the quiet, pretty contemplation of the previous album squarely in the balls. It was a long strange wait but definitely worth it. And now, apparently, we have another one already fast upon us. If they keep it this good and this fun they can keep ’em pumping out and we’ll line up for it every time.

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