Available on: Moustache 12″

It can be something of a guilty pleasure, but the fact is we love Heartbreak’s face-meltingly emotive nu-NRG exploits. Sebastian Muravchik’s vocals are at least 50% if the reason why, but it would be churlish to underestimate the contribution of his band-mate Ali Renault.

A talented producer openly in thrall to the 80s heyday of synth-pop and italo-disco, Renault has been releasing solo records since 2003, including three very fine 12″s for London’s Dissident. Here he hooks up with his spiritual brethren in Rotterdam, Moustache Records, for a four-tracker of heavy-gaited, slo-mo electro that doesn’t quite rise above its influences, but is in no way smothered by them.

‘Rimini Boyz’ sounds like countless other italo tributes, but ‘Dockland Dirt’ – with its seriously nasty, warped synth-bass, ebullient horns and guitar licks – is plenty fresh. ‘Running on Vapours’ is a trackier, almost housier affair, unfortunately a mirthless vocodered vocal steadies the ship before things can get really interesting. The EP closes out with ‘Melloch’ a spirited, cowbell-assisted rhythm track that sounds like a Heartbreak instrumental, in the best possible sense.

If you’re new to all this nu-italo muck then this is hardly the place to begin your journey, but hardened travellers will find plenty to admire.

Trilby Foxx



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