Radio Europa

Radio Europa – TyDbXx (Malt Barn recordings)

Radio Europa are a pair of electronica mentalists from West Wales. Having quietly plugged their way and juggled parenthood and full time jobs for the past several years, finally the band release the debut album that they have been threatening for years. Titled ‘TyDbXx’ and spanning 13 tracks, it really does run the gamut of electronic experimentation, sampling, soundtracks, glitch and just your communal garden weirdness.

From the start, we have a gentle electronica instrumental track ‘Answers’ with spoken word over the top, featuring Pulco. It’s short, yet conjures up the feeling that it is either an extract from an instruction manual for a space station orbiting a dying earth, or instructions left for aliens to try and understand humans. Sublime. ‘Clickbait Tosh’ starts up with some nice throbbing electronica before it gradually develops into the sound of an alarm call. On top of this we have spoken word/poetry and samples over an increasingly insistent distorted drum beat and again there is an overwhelming feeling that the sounds mimic calls of a space station careering out of control and orbit. It’s like the recording of a demented space rave. Sweet.

Tak, Tak, Tak’ has a Krafwerk style computerised vocal played over some really subtle guitar and bass. It’s a disconcerting track that misleads and confuses. And once the “Tak, Tak, Tak” refrain comes in at the end, you realise what an unsettling experience it has been. Very clever. ‘6000 Hands’ has a brilliant machine gun drum beat complete with distorted vocals and experimentation, as does follow up ‘Interlude’ and ‘Ghost In The House’. Both seem to revel in Modular experimentation and Squarepusher like abstract randomness.

Josephine’, featuring musician Equinox, is another standout track that has a soundtrack feel. Equinox has a great Manchester voice that marries brilliantly with the atmospheric noises that underpin it. It has a real John Murphy feel to it. Very emotive. Fine stuff.

The intriguingly titled ‘Ex Punks Have Current Money’ again is spoken word. The lyrics conjure up more instructions for orbiting space stations in a rather Clint MansellMoon’ way. A very eerie and clever tune. ‘Look Up’  is chaotic and disturbing, and reminds one of Chris Cunningham’s monstrous ‘Rubber Johnny’ collaboration with Aphex Twin. It’s batshit crazy and barely a minute long.

Cats Whiskers In the Wound’ introduces some impressive guitar work to complement the electronic experimentation. Combined with some gentle piano, this nicely segues into ‘Sunny’, which is eerie, but with big drum beats and xylophone accompaniment. Final track ‘Original Head’ again features Pulco and is, in effect, a reprise of ‘Answers’. Again it is a question and answer/introduction session to God knows what. But it sounds beautiful.

What Radio Europa have achieved is pretty extraordinary. Absorbing influences as far reaching as sci-fi films, Beat Poets (William S Burroughs in particular), electronica and glitch, they have crafted a 13 track album that screams experimentation. Who knows what this lot are capable of next?

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.