Adan & Ilse – Cold Diamonds (CD Album – Unknown Pleasures Records)
Genre/Influences: Electro-wave & pop, minimal-electro.
Content: The French project Adan & Ilse is back on track with their 3rd opus to date. This band set up by Pedro Peñas Robles (HIV+) gained some recognition in their homeland, but also got enthusiastic reactions abroad.
No doubt about it, it’s all about their original and yet old-school electro inspired influences that they’ve caught the attention of many electronic lovers. “Cold Diamonds” doesn’t sound that different from their previous work. I sometimes get the impression of hearing a 21st Century hybrid made by pieces of Joy Division, The Cure and Fad Gadget. The sound is clearly reminding me of the golden 80s electro decade, but there also is a personal and refreshing touch on top.
The music often makes me think to a kind of 80s electro-pop merged with contemporary styles like electroclash and minimal-electronics. The work features 8 new songs plus 4 remixes. The link with Joy Division is not that much of a coincidence. Adan & Ilse made a surprising and intimate cover version of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, which features the vocals of Ian Curtis. This song is a kind of piano ballad with some electronic effects emerging at the final part and the magic of Curtis’ vocals. This song sounds in between blasphemy and magic, but it first of all is a poignant ode to this legendary band.
It’s not exactly the most representative song of the album yet the most surprising one. The influences are more into this retro-electro format, resulting in a few attention grabbers like “Lost Overdrive”, which moves from minimal-EBM towards technoid sequences. I also like the half-spoken vocals running through this song. The main vocal parts are somewhat spoken and whispering-like, which is totally fitting to the minimalism of the composition.
Another potential smasher is “Voice In Blue”, which again is made of EBM and technoid ingredients. It’s the kind of song that will make its way on to the dancefloors. But “Cold Diamonds” also features quieter and even ballad-like pieces. The Joy Division-cover is just one in the genre, but I also have to mention “Some Desire” and the film-minded “Stardust”.
The remixes are more into danceable vibes while accomplished by some fine artists. The song “Skin Succomb To The Bliss” (originally released at their previous album) has been remixed by Melanoboy an irresistible body-technoid way. The remix of “Lost Overdrive” by Simi Nah vs. KGB is even better. This is a real potential hit with some extra electroclash element on top. Just pay attention for the dry kick and deep bass line, which are like magic in your ears. Notice by the way that there also is a remix by John Lord Fonda.
Last, but not least there also is a hidden cover version of a song by the French Prince of pop: Etienne Daho.
Conclusion: This is the most accomplished and mature album by Adan & Ilse, which definitely strives for a unique style as an ode to the 80s electro-wave & pop movement.
Best songs: “Lost Overdrive”, “Red star”, “Voice In Blue”, “Lost Overdrive – Simi Nah vs. KGB Remix”, “Skin Succomb To The Bliss – Remix by Melanoboy”.
Label: www.unknown-pleasures-records.com / www.facebook.com/Unknown-Pleasures-Records-566180440115465
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