Department M come from Leeds in the North of Englandshire. Ostensibly a creative vehicle for one Owen Brinley, they have spent the past year cautiously, yet crunchingly, developing a fascinating, fizzing sound which combines the heroic synths of yesteryear with a cutting contemporary electro sensibility. Depeche Mode, Air, Talk Talk, Cabaret Voltaire and - of course - ELO are just some of the names referenced in their company, and fair play too - Owen Brinley is decidedly not a man afraid of a saxophone solo. Bolstered by a four person-strong live line-up this is an act which can straddle the divide between the shiny retro-obsessed Classic Pop magazine and the cool dark alleyways of modern East London. They have previous, do Department M: in March they released the ''I''ll Fax You An Apology'' / ''Black Boutique'' single on local label Hide & Seek. In June they released the ''The Second Prize'' / ''Absentia'' single through Too Pure. Unsurprisingly, phrases like "abrasive beauty" and "brutalist pop economy" tend to be bandied about Department M''s music, for theirs is a world of overdriven hip-hop drum loops crashing against smooth swathes of analogue synthesiser, where the beefiest of rhythms collide with the sweetest of vocals.