Retrogramme is an American project hailing from Washington DC and honestly speaking the kind of band I didn’t exactly expected on EK Product. The Italian label from Napoli has typically familiarize us with old-school EBM while Retrograde is quite different in style and influences. On the other hand, it seems to prove that the label is moving towards wider musical fields and that’s a damn good thing to reach a wider audience.
Talking about audience I’m really curious to know if Retrogramme will reach a lot of people. It’s not about the quality of the sound rather than its complexity that makes me skeptical.
Retrogramme features elements of d’n’b, pop, techno and even lounge. The mix sounds a bit surreal, but makes sense. The music is well-crafted, revealing some meticulous writing and quite avant-garde like. The tracks are sometimes pretty diversified from each other, but it simply makes the listening quite diversified.
Taking off with a rather d’n’b inspired and space-like electro format (cf. “Save Without A Grudge”) we progressively enter a more 80s area with “Heaven Is Closer Than You Think” reminding me of New Order. Bombast and slow breakbeats emerge from “Milanah” while “Temporary Love (Retrogramme ReKonStrict)” is a pure lounge experience. In a quite similar way “Fell Upon Deaf Ears” is a beautiful song mixing pop and lounge music.
At the end of the ride Retrogramme finally pleases the EBM-lovers with body-club and technoid influences. It here concerns a remix of “Heaven Is Closer” by Models & Machines featuring great male vocals. The next track coming up “Cancer Remissed” is another EBM experience made together with Force Drift and featuring soft, but sexy vocals.
Retrogramme stands for a particular experience in sound. When intelligence and creativity join hands you get the CD “For Our Dearly Departed”. This is a beautiful challenge.