Tuesday 18 April 2017

Review: Various Artists – 'Under What Flag (A Tribute To Fad Gadget)'

'Under What Flag (A Tribute To Fad Gadget)'

Frank Tovey, AKA Fad Gadget was a pioneering force in electronic music as a movement. His work may be somewhat under-appreciated by the public at large compared to some of his contemporaries, yet his work was and is profoundly influential on electronic artists to this day. Avant garde, rhythmic, melodic, confrontational and socially aware, Tovey's output is long overdue a musical tribute such as this.

The album is a not-for-profit release compiled and produced by DJ Seraphim, and mastered by Jasyn Bangert for Coitus Interruptus Productions and features acts/artists such as
Bioassay, Canter, Laether Strip, NOIR, George Sarah, Cylab, Microchip Junky and more adding their spin to classic tracks including 'Collapsing New People', 'Ricky's Hand', 'Lady Shave', 'Back To Nature', and 'Insecticide'.

Genres such as synthpop, ebm, industrial, futurepop, darkwave, and post-punk run rampant over the original compositions reforming them into fresh and modern hits that show just how groundbreaking Tovey's originals are. The likes of Bioassy, Blakk Glass, Canter, Cylab, Laether Strip, Maleagant, Microchip Junky, Noir, and Shrapnihil in particular take the source material and add some interesting twists through their own unique styles.

The production and mastering is excellent throughout and each track flows nicely into the next without jarring against differing styles. And overall the listening experience has the feel of a complete album as opposed to a compilation.

This is a great tribute from a collection of very talented contributors to one of the greatest electronic artists of all time. The songs have been lovingly reconstructed to reflect the sounds of 2017, and in doing so highlight the strength of the originals. The only issue would be that there are a lot of other great Fad Gadget songs that could have been featured rather than have some artists doubling up on songs. But other than that, what has been featured here is excellent, and it would be nice to maybe get a second album in the future. But in the meantime, this is a great album not only for Fad Gadget fans, but also fans of modern electronic music.

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