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Various Artists

Under What Flag - A Tribute to Fad Gadget

Review by Gary Hill

All of these songs were originally done by Frank Tovey under the name "Fad Gadget." There is quite a range on this performances. While I've heard of Fad Gadget, I've never heard his music, so this is all new to me. I like mix from electronic to techno and more. All in all, this is pretty universally effective set. That's not all that common on various artists compilations. It's also not all that common for such sets to flow as well as this one does.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Bioassay - Collapsing New People
The EDM sounds on this are classy. Once the vocals join I'm reminded of Depeche Mode a lot. This has a good energy and groove and some catchy hooks. It's a solid tune.
Blakk Glass - Lady Shave
This has a bit more modern texture, particularly in the way the female vocals are presented. This is more techno than it is EDM. It's a great piece of music.
Blicky - Ricky's Hand
More of a pure techno or industrial kind of cut, this is cool. It's energetic and really moves.
Canter - The Box
This comes in much mellower and rather trippy. Although slow moving, electronic and dark, this is oddly heavy. It's almost what you might get if you did some sludgy, plodding stoner metal in an electronic fashion. It gets more energized and rocking later, but that's mostly in comparison as it's still rather slow moving. Whatever you call this, though, it's one of the strongest cuts here and so cool.
Charlatan - Fireside Favourite
Echoey, trippy and weird, this is also so cool. There is almost a jazz vibe to it in some ways. This gets noisy later in the track.
Cortex Defect - Back to Nature
I really dig the percussive groove on this tune. The piece has an electronic/techno meets space rock element. I can make out hints of things like Gary Numan on this for sure.
Cylab - Swallow It
This comes in quite percussive, but the melodic stuff enters pretty quickly. Eventually we're taken out into the song proper, another cool electronic jam. This has female vocals and some hints of techno.
George Sarah - Arch of the Aorta
An instrumental, this piece is lush, symphonic and powerfully evocative. This one could land under the mellow electronic end of the progressive rock spectrum.
The Labrynth - King of the Flies
More like a punky Depeche Mode, this is cool stuff. There is a lot of energy and some great vibes.
LeƦther Strip - Back to Nature
More of a rocker, there is electronica and space music in the mix here. It also has a punky edge and a great energy. This version is so different from the earlier take on the song.          
Maleagant - Saturday Night Special (Threatened Brick in the Wall)
I love the creepy piano on this. The vocals, almost spoken or shouted, are delivered in a theatrical way almost feel Klingon to me. Mind you, the lyrics are in English, but the way they are delivered feels like Klingon theater. Symphonic elements join later in the piece. This is so Gothic and very experimental like some form of progressive music. This is among the weirdest things here, but also one of my favorites.
Manufactura - Insecticide
Driving techno music is the concept here. This is freaky and has a lot of movie soundbites built into it.
Microchip Junky - Insecticide
A different version of the same song we just heard, this is much more technical and electronic. It's a trippy sort of thing with distorted, processed vocals. While this is cool, I prefer the other version.
Missing Witness - The Box
Another version of a track from earlier on the disc, I dig the dark electronic sounds on the first part of this take of it. The cut evolves into a grinding hard rocking jam that makes me think of some of Hawkwind's stuff just a bit.
Noir - Back to Nature
We've heard a couple other versions of this song earlier in this set. This one has a cool techno groove to it and really rocks. It's dark and so tasty. This might actually be my favorite take on the piece.
Pixelpussy - State of the Nation
With a lot of spoken sound clips, this is a cool electronic jam. The clips (of Presidents  Bush and Obama's voices) are used to deliver the lyrics to the song.
Shrapnihil - Insecticide
The third version of this, it's very much a purely techno delivery. This is a cool take on the number, but not my favorite of them. Something that sounds like clips from a horror film ends it.
 
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