London's Italo-disco-inspired synth-pop group, Heartbreak seems to have sprung from nowhere. With the duo's debut LP, Lies, everything from Hi NRG to old-school house to cold wave is merged into one compelling party.
While we love Lies (Lex Records) to death, we were curious to know how Heartbreak would respond to ten songs we personally selected and sent off to them. Our conclusion: both Ali Renault (keyboards) and Sebastian Muravchix (vocals) are eager to listen to all sorts of stuff and are into just about everything. We mixed the ten tracks―in the order they're discussed in below―for your listening pleasure. Read through Renault and Muravchix's responses to each while you rock out…
Beatiful Bend, “That's the Meaning”
Seb: Nice organic disco tune with a very nice two-minute percussive break at 4'30″; lovely classic disco flangers, and top orchestration.
Ali: Lovely meat-and-potatoes disco. I love the harp too, great stuff.
Cage and Aviary, “Television Train”
Seb: Very nice mix, percussion quite upfront and nice hollow sounding clipped bassline, with hints of post-punk guitar work. Very interesting blend of organic disco funk and spacey new wave. Nice
Ali: This is a great dissident track, one from the first batch. I love the raw sounding bass guitar. The world needs more production like this around.
Seb: A timeless classic, and a perennial source of inspiration. The 808 sounding as good as ever! Bring the future back!
Ali: Magic Juan doing what he does best! Simply brilliant!
Graham Philip D'Ancey, “Sacred Heart”
Seb: Intriguing synth chugger, inspiring old sound and electronic/serialized emotion. Interesting obscure minimal piece from way back.
Ali: I really can't help myself for this sort of track. You can hear someone loosing themselves inside the synthesizer, fantastic!
Nightfall, “Keep It Up”
Seb: Another feelgood organic disco tune, quite nice lounge vibe. I have this dodgy attraction for anything remotely sounding like the Love Boat music.
Ali: Very nice traditional disco track, lovely orchestration and percussion, and a nice vocal too.
Seb: Good sounding drums and timbals, good traditional disco sound, although not necessarily my cup of tea as a composition per se.
Ali: I find this sort of disco amusing… it puts a smile on my face. Sort of comical vibe but nice.
Tangerine Dream, “Ricochet Part 1”
Seb: Classic Tangerine Dream, glad to have some 70s kraut here. I'm quite into that guitar distortion too, in a twisted way. Synths I dream about every day, pre-recorded tape stuff, organic drums and percussion… good structure, great stuff.
Ali: Fantastic Tangerine Dream. Beautiful synths rolling through the piece as usual with their signature sound. Inspirational stuff.
Two Lone Swordsmen, “The Lurch”
Seb: Nice rock track with synths and interesting guitar work. Quite a nice bass riff, actually.
Ali: Yeah I quite like this too. I've not been into all of their stuff but this is cool. Nice direction from them.
Vicio Latino, “Que Me Pasa, Que Me Pasa”
Seb: Spanish Italo at its rawest, darkest, and most frivolous. Spanish Italo is in a league of its own, and this is the most extreme and effective example I know.
Ali: I love this track so much. Beautiful raw Italo. Very defining of the Italo sound if you ask me, although at its most extreme.
Yellow Magic Orchestra, “Behind the Mask”
Seb: Lovely sound, great tune, a unique sound. Yellow magic orchestra was so cool.
Ali: Another favourite of mine. That synth riff has never left my head since I first heard it. Totally infectious and the vocoder is great too! Beautiful.