One of the UK’s finest electronic acts return with some synth goodness…

VILE ELECTRODES have crafted a particularly intriguing career path. The duo, consisting of Martin Swan and Anais Neon, have carefully eked out a series of EP releases over the years and released their debut album The Future Through A Lens in 2013 (which helped them in winning ‘Best International Album’ and ‘Best International Artist’ awards at the 2014 Schallwelle music awards in Germany. Along the way they’ve also supported the likes of OMD, John Foxx and the Maths and Michael Rother (Neu/Harmonia).

In a genre that’s marked out by far too many acts pandering to the past, Vile Electrodes have managed to build their own particular sound that manages to extract a particular warmth from the wires and electronics. The power of earlier material such as ‘Proximity’ and ‘Deep Red’ being particular standout moments.

Their latest release is the Stark White EP which also showcases the Viles’ other talent. In an increasingly digital world, the pair work that much harder in packaging their releases so that they often resemble a work of art in their own right. With The future through a lens album they managed to give the release a very physical presence by assembling it between two sheets of solid metal.
It’s an idea that’s perhaps reflected here in the Stark White EP, whose double CD goodness is encased between two acrylic panels. The CD sleeve itself is screenprinted with a white-on-white effect (reminiscent of OMD’s debut 1979 Factory release ‘Electricity’ which played around with a similar relief effect with its sleeve).

The tracks themselves present the qualities that mark out Vile Electrodes as a band to be reckoned with: warm melodic tunes with a very human element encapsulated in Anais Neon’s evocative vocals.

‘Stark White’ has a simple yet effective sequenced rhythm over which Neon’s often cryptic words purr “Why must I bleed/to show there’s blood?”. It’s dancepop with heart. Meanwhile, here’s a deeper, immersive quality to ‘Pulsar Timing Array’ care of the warm synth sounds that underpin it. The track breathes with an hypnotic quality which builds over time and includes some captivating choral effects on the vocals.

This atmospheric element is carried over into the melancholic ‘Half Life’ (a track that’s an extended and reworked version of an interlude taken from the The future through a lens album) with its broody tones and wistful words.

The second CD is given over to versions of songs recorded live in the studio, including ‘Empire Of Wolves’ – an earlier Viles song that’s given a more percussive workout in this incarnation.

There’s a particularly strong contemporary electronic music scene still unfolding in the world of music – and Vile Electrodes continue to demonstrate why they lead the charge on the UK indie front.

Stark White is available from Big Cartel:

Vile Electrodes are performing in London 25th November at Dublin Castle Camden along with Real Experts and Night Club.
Doors at 7pm. Tickets £6 or buy in advance:

Vile Electrodes are also performing on Friday 27th November at The Society of Old Brentwoods, Ashwells Road, Brentwood alongside Killatrix.