Boomkat Product Review:
Memphis Industries are owning things right now what with the Pipettes taking bloggers by storm and suddenly giving the world of Pitchfork readers three new pin-ups to fantasize about (the underground music world needs it’s unattainables too!). Ex-Fort Lauderdale man Steve Webster is the latest musician to throw down his musical gauntlet for the Brighton based label, and the result is an 80s themed mishmash of songs and genres entitled ‘Arts & Crafts’. I’m quite surprised this is English to be quite honest, as mentioned in the press release, Webster’s heart is in Germany and that’s never more evident than in the opening track ‘Ode to Immer Wieder’, a Kraftwerk meets Neu! By way of Jean Michelle Jarre tribute to all things Kraut/synth and I must say it’s pretty wonderful. Webster has managed to trap that sound in a box and carry it with him at all times and that’s no mean feat, many have attempted this before and many have failed, but Webster’s understanding of the genre gives him a great foothold in the music, and even when he attempts other styles (as is witnessed across the album) he manages it with dignity. There’s of course the corpse of electo-pop hovering over proceedings, but this is injected with enough oddness (‘Ralph and Barbera’ sounds as if the Beatles had a synth library back in the mid 60s…) to keep it fresh and more importantly fun. With later high points coming from the rockin’ single ‘TX81Z’ and melodic synth-prog anthem ‘Shoot Me Into Space’ Webster has created yet another gem for Memphis Industries. What are you waiting for then – let’s all go Deutch!