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philipp quehenberger - Phantom In Paradise
Ever since Mego was reborn with an 'Editions' before it, we've seen that things have been just that little bit different. Not in a bad way either - Peter Rehberg's monster of a label has been on top form over the last year, releasing absolute stormers from KTL and Tujiko Noriko and re-issuing some of the most crucial Fennesz records in existence. This album from Cheap luminary Philipp Quehenberger, however, is possibly the oddest thing we've heard from the label yet. Not odd in an experimental way either you understand, it's odd because it just doesn't sound like a Mego release, at least at first. Place the disc in your cd player and you'll be treated to a barrage of electro-pop beats and playful male vocals, all encased in swirling noise and underpinned by rubbery electronic bass - not the sort of thing you'd expect from the home of Hecker and Farmers Manual really is it? Well then I listened a little bit closer and realised what was at the heart of 'Phantom in Paradise' - this is basically EBM for a post-laptop generation, Gothic industrial music with a neon twist or new wave with a bit more new and a bit less wave. This is basically where noise music came from is it not? okay there was more to it than that, but there are links to be made, there are dots to be joined and the fact that this is a Mego release that you can actually shake your booty to shouldn't marr your enjoyment one bit. Okay occasionally it might get a bit too much, but the fact that Philip Quehenberger has the guts to produce music this unashamedly off-kilter deserves praise alone. This is electro-pop music for test tube babies, a giant 'f*uck you' to the Hoxtonites proclaiming the hipster draw of 'electro-house', it's mean, dirty and sometimes horrible, but it was always meant to be that way, wasn't it?