Holland, Drums (Pulcec)

Posted March 5th, 2001 by admin

By: Eric Greenwood

Trevor Kampmann's brand of saturated electro-pop is hard not to like. Layers of concurrent melodies glide over pulsating, seemingly wet rhythm tracks while Kampmann sings sexually provocative lyrics with a voice that paradoxically sounds both innocent and sensual. As the much sought after producer of albums by Barcelona, Aden, and True Love Always, Kampmann has honed his arsenal of studio tricks, enabling him to create instantly satiating pop gems that are as catchy as they are brief. Working closely with Mark Robinson's Teenbeat label has greatly influenced Kampmann's songwriting too, as each song is filled with candy-coated hooks and loads of repetitious melodies.

Kampmann's got his formula down to a science- only one song on this seven track EP runs longer than two minutes. What more could you ask for? It's hard to top synthesized pop oozing sex that is so infectious you have to play each song twice before moving on. On "Oh Death" Kampmann croons: "give no one a hard one/suck me/cure me" while a bouncy keyboard bass line drives the melody. It's hard for music to be shocking these days what with the masses having been desensitized by clowns like Eminem and Marilyn Manson to the point that, short of a live murder, most people would yawn, but Kampmann's blatant sexual demeanor really will catch you off guard. Maybe, it's just the way he says what he says in the context of such entreating music that strikes a chord, but your ears will definitely perk up when you hear "I was telling you off/but now I'm trying to get off/on you/off you/you make me ache" ("White-Hot Minimal") amidst a flurry of keyboards and space-age effects.

Kampmann manages to squeeze tons of squishy electronic noises into his upbeat robotic pop. There's an equal amount of warm synthetics and fuzzy, overdriven bass, but the common thread is Kampmann's strangely perverted lyrics, which he repeats in short bursts with some kind of post-coital intonation. He sounds vaguely like Mark Robinson, playing up the innocent choirboy versus sexual deviant pose to immediate effect. His phrasing is awkward, but it glides seamlessly over the transient melodies.

Fans of everything from early Depeche Mode to Joy Electric to Gary Numan will lap this up, but don't be fooled into thinking this is just another 1980's synthpop revival. While some of the noises obviously recall early 80's electronic pop, Kampmann's tunes are far too busy and clever to write off merely as fodder for retro fad seekers.

Tags: review