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Alexander Robotnick – The Analog Session review

Having been called upon to add some Italo credibility to Little Boots’ flagging stab at pop stardom in 2008, Alexander Robotnick appears to be experiencing a career renaissance of late after nearly a decade of bubbling under on a variety of imprints.  Robotnick’s name will always be synonymous with the 1983 analogue disco classic “Problems d’Amour” and after releasing two EPs for the Endless Flight Imprint in 2008, London label This Is Music has become his new home.

Robotnik’s 2009 Italo disco thumper “Obsession For The Disco Freaks” was the first fruits of his new relationship with This Is Music. The imprint is now giving him the creative platform to revisit what Robotnick refers to as the pioneering era of electronic music on this new album The Analog Session. Recorded in tandem with long term cohort Ludas ‘Lapo’ Pinsky, The Analog Session is the culmination of five days in the studio with a stack of vintage analogue equipment and the intent to recreate the “true electronic sound of the 1970s & 80s”. From these sessions, Robotnick and Pinsky have edited down and delivered nine tracks that are very much drenched in analog machine funk but with enough elements of contemporary techno to suit the modern dancefloor.

Each track is a delicately nuanced exercise in masterful contemporary electronic music composition with the near 11 minutes that make up “Promenade Am3” provides the album highlight. An arpeggiated synth wig out grows over a pulsating acid bass line and a punchy  Roland drum beat before a synth siren hook is gradually introduced and the song breaks down to just that. It is very much in the vein of Retro Grade’s “Moda”, and just as devastating. For those interested in how Robotnick and Pinsky delivered this magnificent slab of analog disco greatness, an accompanying DVD documenting the recording process is also included.

Review: Tony Poland