This may be their 3rd release, but I’ve not heard anything by Retrogramme prior to this initiation. Signed to EK Product, a label with whom I’m deeply familar, this DC based trio come across as being IDM meets Electro-Pop.
“Save Without a Grudge” introduces the release, and does indeed sound like a hybrid between them. It uses IDM style drum work, and Electro-pop synth, with a vocal bit that falls somewhere between the two. The main allure of it is its melodic hook that stays in your head like a goddamn wasp. It’s a track that I normally wouldn’t listen to, but this has a melody that’s really addictive.
“Patricia” introduces a guest vocalist – Laya “Fix” Monarez. Sounding typically synthpop , i’m reminded of a more Darkwave focused Ultravox, with a penchant for IDM. This isn’t bad at all, if not a tad similar.
“My Advice” is much faster, and almost takes on a Rock-ish feel. Electropop at it’s finest, and comparisons to Solvent, Ulrich Schnauss and Client seem to sum up this track.Dmitry’s vocals seem to have a chillout vibe going on; it’s probably the most energetic and danceable EKP album I’ve reviewed thus far, and the most comprehensive – I’ve no clear cut examples to give you, as Retrogramme seem very content in their own little niche. Rob’s programming is as addictive as Monster ?, and Nikk’s songwriting seems to waver from original to “I’ve heard something like this before, but it’s still bloody good”.
That may seem like a harsher remark than intended – let us all remember how easy it is with such a melodic genre to reproduce similar tracks – the onus for genuine passion is here, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the trio have left no stone unturned when putting together each track on this album.
With production that’s not possible to criticise, and an array of dazzling remixes, Retrogramme are an act that with summer forming, would make the perfect in-car soundtrack.