Stephen Mallinder – ‘Um Dada’
DAIS / DAIS141LPC2
clear vinyl LP, limited edition of 500
ELECTRONIC SOUND REVIEW NOVEMBER 2019
Stephen Mallinder, co-founder of Cabaret Voltaire, digital and sound art lecturer, and member of numerous side projects, including Creep Show and Wrangler, delivers a new solo album some 35 years on from its predecessor ‘Pow-Wow’.
There’s plenty across these nine tracks that will be familiar to fans of the Cabs, with dislocated, effects-swamped, scrambled voices alongside the throb and prod of electro. This is a sleeker, more streamlined and contained edition of that template though, and there’s also an influence, subtle but discernible, of the economic, trim sonics of early house music.
‘Colour’, for example, echoes the delicate electric piano and kick drum thump of Lil’ Louis, while ‘Satellite’ could be Human League re-edited by Frankie Knuckles, with vocals by a Daft Punk robot. Other highlights include ‘Flashback’ and ‘Hollow’, both augmented by creepy, industrial-style voice and sprinkled with sparkling synth motifs and the stripped-down abstractions of the title track, but there are no weak links among this exceptionally assured, varied and natural sounding collection.