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coh - Retro-2038
Raster-Noton/Mego veteran Ivan Pavlov returns to the latter with “a work of profound playfulness”, one that explores the interzone between terse electronic minimalism and whimsical electronic pop with aplomb. Putting most modern-day synth records to shame, COH’s arpeggiated constructions are three-dimensional, pinsharp and thoroughly progressive - think early Human League or Yellow Magic Orchestra dubbed-out and processed by Mark Fell using technology that hasn’t yet been invented. Other references that come to mind are Dopplereffekt’s Calabai Yau Space or Squarepusher’s wildest Tron-ic imaginings, but honestly, we’re not sure any of these do justice to the unique mood and complex mechanisms animating these tracks. Pavlov himself has said that Giorgio Moroder was a key influence on the work, and perhaps there lies the key to understanding Retro-2038: a post-R-N, thoroughly sci-fi update of the Italian’s sensual, pulsating disco fantasias. The title of the album isn’t empty rhetoric; this record looks backwards and forwards at the same time, and the effect is wonderfully, addictively disorienting.