Optimo’s JD Twitch has been regarded for some time as one of electronic music’s best selectors, equally adept at playing surprisingly odd synth-wave and punk-funk records as bombastic floorfillers and unlikely. Now, with his Optimo Music imprint, he’s proving to be a shrewd A&R man, too. Since 2009, the label has released a steady stream of off-kilter dancefloor gems, downbeat curiosities and even the occasional well-timed reissue. As with his DJ sets (and, of course, the now legendary Optimo parties in Glasgow), the label’s approach is fearlessly eclectic.
This latest Optimo Music release comes from a band who will be familiar to Optimo event regulars. Glasgow-based duo Organs Of Love have previously performed live at Optimo parties and share Twitch’s love of odd electronica, bleak new wave and stylized art-pop. They describe their sound as “occult insomnia sex music”. It’s an apt description. Dealing with mawkish themes and pedaling a sound that gives only the smallest twist to classic, 79-81 new wave, Organs Of Love are definitely a Twitch kind of band. There’s something stand-offish about their performance style and machine-made sound, a trait that displays a deep love and knowledge for their inspirations. Anyone can ponce around in eyeliner and make music with synthesizers (see the now defunct electroclash scene for proof), but you can’t fake the real thing. Organs Of Love sound like the real thing.
Coming on like a latter-day Bauhaus after a particularly dark swingers party in a seedy Glasgow squat, the four tracks that make up Bone are undeniably impressive. Like much horror-fixated music, it’s concerned foremost with atmosphere, yet the delay-laden organs, clicking Sideman drums and pained vocals offer much more than mere aural textures. Check, for example, the stylized horror organs, shuffling drum machine grooves and semi-orgasmic groans of instrumental oddity “Facefuck”, or the mournful yet spiky “Someone’s Dead”; both evoke powerful images of groggy stumbles around grim urban wastelands. “Bone” itself has an urgency and fuzziness that recalls classic, ‘floor-friendly synth-wave. Some of the sounds – not to mention the distortion-laden vocals – suggest a love of krautrock and the weirder fringes of glam. There’s also a guitar solo right out of the Johnny Marr handbook. Then there’s “Let’s Talk To Bobby”, a triple-time stomper that could be the perfect glam/kraut/goth/synth-wave fusion. Sister Blister’s vocal is a triumph – the song itself is easily the strongest on the EP, and a real calling card. Given Twitch’s backing and a morbid style of their own, Organs Of Love could go far.
1. Let’s Talk To Bobby
4. Someone’s Dead