FINAL 11 COPIES / WAREHOUSE DISCOVERY / UNPLAYED BUT SIGNS OF HANDLING
Heartland synthesist Dylan Ettinger follows up 2010’s New Age Outlaws with a stark, dark, and intensely different collection of misshapen new wave weirdnesses, Lifetime Of Romance. Recorded at a proper studio, and written over the course of a year, the seven songs of Romance reflect a heavy influence from the fringier strains of quasi-industrial synth-pop a la Fad Gadget, Cabaret Voltaire, early Human League, etc, but dragged through his own warped filter. The approaches vary radically, from abandoned factory dirges (“Sport And Superstion,” “Maude”) to dubbed-out man-machine paranoia (“Disparager”) to sine-wave robot radio singles (“Arco Iris,” “Blue and Blue”) and general electronic workshop exploration (“18.0”). It’s always to be heralded when an artist braves foreign terrain so it’s a kick to hear Ettinger’s secret circuitry language channeled into the pop architectures of twisted synth-wave melancholia for the first time. Black vinyl LPs in jackets with synthesizer trio cover photography by Michael Anderson.