Some time ago, an old friend told me about I SATELLITE from the US of A as a wonderful 80s sounding Electro project in the vein of bands and musicians like Ultravox, John Foxx, Human League, Alphaville and other heroes of my youth. At once I contacted Rod of I SATELLITE and very soon held this album in my hands.
“Auto:matic” is some kind of 80s-Retro-album, which will be loved by all fans of the “good ol´ times”.
The album opens with the instrumental and very rhythmic “Robot Parade”, followed by the very poppy “Bubbleboy”, which reminds me a bit on Trans X or The Buggles. After listening to this track the first time, the melody never leaves the ears again. This would´ve been a Top 10 hit in the early 80s! Next is “I Want You”. Did you ever think, that the musical change of Heaven 17 after their first album “Penthouse & Pavement” was not the best idea? Then, “I Want You” is the perfect track, also with a certain Gary Numan feeling. “Retropolis” is another instrumental piece, which reminds me a bit on early, experimental OMD-album tracks. “12:15 Friday Night” is a great Minimal-Wave song with reminiscences on Erasure on their first two albums, while the album title track “Automat” is my favourite song, sounding like the early Human League. Simply a brilliant masterpiece of today´s Electro music! Then comes the Kraftwerk-like “Polaroid”. “Where In The World” is possibly the most “actual” sounding title on “Auto:matic”. If you like some Swedish Synthie-Pop bands from the 90s, you know, what I mean. The last instrumental track is “Orlon”, very driving, very minimalstic with a lot of sound effects. The album then ends with “Out Of Space”, another 90s Minimal-Synth-Wave song.
What can I say about this unbelievable Electro album? It is definetly one of the very best Synthie-Pop albums, I heard in the last years and a “must have” for every 80s Pop fan, who likes any of the above mentioned bands. Forget all the boring Future-Pop acts and get “Auto:matic” instead. Even if the sound and the song structures are pure 80s, the music does not sound old-fashioned, so the term “Modern-Retro-Pop” describes I SATELLITE perfectly. (A.P.)