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Boomkat Product Review:
Following releases on Editions Mego and SUPERPANG, Finlay Shakespeare reimagines his parents' electro pop and new wave faves on "Illusion + Memory". RIYL John Foxx, Tubeway Army et al.
Since he was young, Shakespeare has been fascinated with electro pop and EBM. His parents had an extensive record collection, and the Bristol-based musician used this early fascination as the springboard for a lifelong obsession with synthesizers - even building his own equipment as a teen. "Illusion + Memory" is his third album and is very much an homage to the gloomy-but-fabulous synthwave of the 1970s and '80s, with fluorescent synths and cycling beatbox knocks at every turn. Shakespeare lavishes his expansive era-specific compositions with his voice, that he shapes to fit in with delivery from artists like Visage or, later, Depeche Mode.
If the last Weeknd/Oneohtrix album spied the more commercial side of electro pop (Duran Duran, particularly), "Illusion + Memory" zeroes in on the era's weirder fringes.