The Golden Filter - Voluspa
Voluspa, the debut album from NYC’s electro-lites The Golden Filter is the ultimate love letter to the 1980s, a time of perceived unlimited possibilities for pop bands who’d finally got their grubby mitts on some synth hardware. The synth revolution may have opened up limitless potential but that’s not reflected here for, make no mistake, this is an album which could have been pulled fresh from a 1982 Blue Peter Time Capsule, along with a Rubik Cube and some moth-eaten glitter legwarmers. Debut single ‘Solid Gold’, a pumping floorfiller, remains the strongest track on show and highlights the difficulties many bands face when trying to craft a traditional ‘album’ when their spiritual home is the pounding club mix. They’ll tell you different of course, probably citing St Etienne, but whereas Bob Stanley used his obsessive, encyclopaedic knowledge of pop history to craft something special The Golden Filter are working from the Reader's Digest version of history. It’s not all bad news though, current single ‘Hide Me’ is a woozy hybrid of the ‘Theme From White Horses’ and ‘Enola Gay’, combining breathy, swoonsome vocals and digi delayed synth stabs to huge effect. Elsewhere ‘Stardust’ is a gargantuan synth monster which finally clears the metaphorical dancefloor with a mesmerizing attempt at replicating the middle eastern dominion occupied by latterday Sisters of Mercy. Indeed, much of the album is peppered with melodic references to the markets of Morocco, but these Arabic signatures are kept rigidly chained to the leaded house beats which belie their dancefloor origins. It’s an interesting but musically inarticulate debut which nevertheless offers promise for the future.