Genre/Influences: Electro-pop, cabaret-pop.
Background/Info: “Ortonesque” is the seventh full length released by London based Mechanical Cabaret. Set up in the late 90s by Roi Robertson (ex-Nekromantik) he now together with Steve Bellamy released the first new Mechanical Cabaret work on WTII Records.
Content: Mechanical Cabaret has always dealt with a unique approach to electro-pop music. “Ortonesque” doesn’t sound that different and has been introduced as being their darkest work to date. I experienced the new songs as some of their most intimate work to date. There’s a twist between slower and minimal-like cuts, which are sometimes a bit cabaret-like at one side and more danceable and purer electro-pop sound at the other.
Some songs might appeal to lovers of De/Vision and even Depeche Mode, but globally speaking “Ortonesque” sounds more experimental and unpolished.
+ + + : Mechanical Cabaret will never become the most typical formation in their genre and there is the feeling of defying the pop standards a bit. That’s an approach I’ve always liked instead of becoming a new Depeche Mode clone. It sounds minimal although always connected with electro-pop. I like some of their melancholic passages, but I’m more into tracks like “Protect And Survive” and “Beautiful and Boring”.
– – – : I experienced the opening cuts as hesitant, but especially produced in a raw and unpolished way. No doubt about it this has been a deliberate choice, but it can’t convince me. The softer cuts, which sometimes make me think of a kind of cabaret style are a nice experiment, but here again not the most convincing part of the work.
Conclusion: Mechanical Cabaret remains a good alternative to the classical synth-pop music, but this new work can’t totally convince me. I’ve heard much better albums from this formation. Nevertheless the final part of the “Ortonesque” features a few cool cuts.
Best songs: “Protect And Survive”, “Beautiful And Boring”, “Sabrina”.
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.