FOUND: Cloning (4 stars)

FOUND: Cloning

A treat for genre fans and lovers of analogue electro pop

FOUND were most recently to be found, as it were, touring round the country as part of the Anywhere But The Cities travelling roadshow of musicians, poets and writers. Anything but the usual seems to be this band-meets-arts collective’s cultural yardstick.

These BAFTA-winning boffins have already created a couple of steampunk sound installations to capture the imagination – a seemingly sentient musical cabinet of curiosities called Cybraphon and a cyber orchestra hitched up to a record player.

Now slimmed down to duo Ziggy Campbell and Kev Sim, FOUND have followed up with their own album of impressively stylised machine music. Cloning was initially conceived as a soundtrack to an imaginary film of the same name, and features a scattering of atmospheric electronic instrumentals touched by the hand of John Carpenter, and redolent of the menacing synth scores to David Cronenberg’s body horror films of the 70s and 80s.

The glacial ‘End Sequence’ comes halfway through, right before ‘Centrepiece’, a rockier electro proposition with some of the claustrophobic urgency of Suicide or early Human League, while ‘Credits’ is a readymade retro-futuristic sci-fi snippet.

Cloning is not just for genre fans, however. The rest of the album is a treat for lovers of analogue electro pop, making great dynamic contrast of Campbell’s wistful voice over space age oscillation. ‘A Souvenir For Every Hope You Had’ belies its the emo-ish title with a beguiling combination of softly plaintive vocals, muscular rock drums and beefy synth chords. The foreboding ‘Hit the Clone Button’ comes over like a Caledonian Soft Cell with its mix of New Romantic atmospherics and a stealthy, dramatic vocal melody.

‘The Second Catastrophe’ is a seductive, trancier affair, unfurling dreamily over eight minutes, while the melancholic synth pop ballad ‘Wheel Out Apocalypse’ keeps a tight tonal rein on its melodramatic message: ‘if I can’t have your lips, then wheel out apocalypse’.

Out Fri 6 Nov on Chemikal Underground.

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