Release Date: May 27, 2014
Record label: Memetune
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Kraftwerk had said it, and you can look to the other arts and it holds true, but there's an ease to making music with a point-and-click computer, and that can blunt creativity. Besides that, analog lets a bit more of the "human" feel through with loose grooves offering their own a unique appeal, an appeal that's delivered in avant '80s and industrial-electro style by the magnificent nostalgic/futuristic conundrum called Wrangler. Featuring Cabaret Voltaire's Stephen Mallinder, Tunng's Phil Winter, plus producer and frequent John Foxx collaborator Benge, Wrangler hold instant appeal for anyone who wore out the Cabs Red Mecca or Crackdown albums back in the day.
Known to-date for their live improv shows alone, Wrangler are in many ways an electronic supergroup, though the very concept is at odds with their relative stature and their purer-than-pure objectives. Here are three experienced campaigners who have previously made their mark under different guises, absorbed the acclaim of their peers and continued to thrust ever-onwards to further explore, expand and extrapolate the finer aspects of their genre. In the case of this particular trio – Stephen Mallinder (ex-Cabaret Voltaire), Phil Winter (Tunng) and Benge (producer, “analogue gear wizard” and John Foxx & The Maths collaborator) – it’s a remit that’s unlikely to result in commercial success.
With Cabaret Voltaire’s reputation burnished to a blinding shine it’s nice to see former singer Stephen Mallinder return to the fray. Wrangler is a three-way electronic collaboration between Mallinder, Ben Edwards (Benge, John Foxx) and Phil Winter (Tunng). LA Spark opens with Theme From Wranger, which pings and pulses like an analogue soundtrack to a 70s film before Mallinder’s vocals slip in near the end.