Wrangler – LA Spark (2014)

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The tracks range from the satellite bleep and lonely synthmelody of ‘Theme From Wrangler’ to the alien carnival rhythms of ‘Modern World’ and the ambient ‘Peace And Love’ (originally recorded for Tate Modern’s Summer 2012 programme ‘Tweet-Me-Up’). In between there’s ‘Lava Land’ – all masked, half-gargoyle vocals and primitive drum machines; the gliding, noir and neon of the title-track ‘La Spark’ and urgent, pulsing floor-filler of ‘Harder’.There are ghosts and echoes of Mallinder’s previous work in Cabaret Voltaire in these songs, especially in the vocals and lyrics, which run like his own internal movie. But the Cabs era it recalls is the unfairly neglected 1983 – 1985, when they released the likes of The Crackdown and Micro-Phonies. Oddly enough this period has been getting re-discovered and re-evaluated via a recent Mute box set, just as Wrangler started mixing this new EP for release in early 2014. Sometimes the landscape changes and you can find yourself in the right place at the right time through a mixture of luck and instinct . . .

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