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Clinging to a scheme
 
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Clinging to a scheme

19 Mar. 2014 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 20 April 2010
  • Release Date: 19 Mar. 2014
  • Label: Labrador
  • Copyright: 2010 Labrador
  • Total Length: 34:53
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00J4W8HFU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,901 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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By Red on Black TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
The endless procession of world class music sent forth from Sweden continues at frenetic pace (see recent review of the Tallest Man on Earth) and in Radio Dept's new album "Clinging to a scheme" I would venture to suggest that this will be one of the best of the bunch. Indeed on this their third LP it is worth pointing out that this band which originated in Lund, Sweden in 1995, are a slightly frustrating beat combo. They appear to record at a "Blue Nile" snails pace and have recorded only three albums in that time and comprise a range of musicians who seem to come and go as they please (2003 Lesser Matters" was there debut). Thus this is the first album since their 2006 excellent sophomore release "Pet Grief" championed by NME at the time but with limited takers.

If you are searching for reference points this music revolves around essentially dreamy pop melodies combined with minimalist electronic sounds, that are so beloved of bands like Phoenix, Electronic and Couteau Twins. The twist that Radio Dept perform is also to assimilate some clear elements of "Sometimes" based shoe-gazing which is thrown into the pot pourri of their sonic vision, giving them the entitlement to make a bigger claim than just the simple label of "electronic band". Unlike Phoenix's recent masterwork "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" this album is not as immediately accessible but on repeated listens it transports you back to the Starship Musical Enterprise with alarmingly ease. Like Beach House's recent "Teen Dream" this is music that languidly intertwines with melancholy synth and drum machines leading to a beautiful and sometimes laidback chilled outcomes.
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Format: Audio CD
Unlike their usual stuff, this newer album from Radio Dept is a bit more self-contained, more melancholy and a bit more gimmicky too, unexpectedly. It's a low-key dream pop ensemble that takes different sounds from Lesser Matters (2003), Pulling our Weight (2003), 80s electronics or twee pop. The feel of The Smiths is more predominant here as there is a sense of lackluster longing in songs like You Stopped Making Sense, Memory Loss and Never Follow Suit.
But there is a bit of self-irony too with Heaven's on Fire giving a whimsical speech in the beginning of the song about youth culture's fight against big business, followed throughout by a sweet little number on genuineness and unbreakable spirit. Naturally, the detached tone is still there and Radio Dept is aware of what they're doing. But it's an enjoyable album simply because it doesn't take itself seriously, no matter how many times it takes the plunge into the bleak territory of repressed feelings and unrequited desires.
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Format: Audio CD
Lund is a city situated in southern Sweden (so southern, that in fact you can see Copenhagen, the capital of neighbours Denmark from the city's highest points). It was founded in 990AD and it is known for it's beautiful cathedral, it's well respected university and for being the birthplace of Swenden's finest musical export, The Radio Dept.

These Swede's (Johan Duncanson, Martin Larsson & Daniel Tjäder) first came to my attention with 2004's 'Lesser Matters'. It was a harsh listen which clearly held a debt to many shoegazing greats such as My Bloody Valentine or Ride. The album was a revelation which inspired a wide range of feelings (indeed, I remember one occassion where I picked my mother up from a doctor's appointment, to which I had 'Lesser Matters' blasting from the car's stereo system. Her response was one of shock & distress as she beleived my car radio was about to detonate from the layers of feedback being forced through it's tiny speakers). To me however, the album was a beautiful masterpeice that rewarded repeated listens and gave me a sonic window in which to gaze longingly at my teenage years all over again.

The Radio Dept. then proceded to fall away from my radar and subsequent releases such as 2006's 'Pet Greif' passed me by. But throughout, 'Lesser Matters' continued to garner space upon my musical pallette and it was with great excitement that I discovered the glowing reviews that this years 'Clinging To A Scheme' was gathering and decided to dip my toe back into the dark Swedish waters.

Upon first listen I must admit to a mild feeling of dissapointment. Each song seemed to pass me by with little or no effect and I even contemplated stopping the album and writing it off as a loss.
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Format: Audio CD
I must admit that the lack of news about Radio Dept had me assuming they had disappeared totally or had simply moved into other bands etc so the arrival of this CD was a pleasant surprise.
After a couple of listens it is even more pleasant and it continues the (seemingly) top class Swedish talent on the scene although logically, the poorer bands will never come to light in the UK!
The guy in my local record shop described it as 'shoegaze' but I think it is worthy of a bit more than this with some tracks having a 90's feeling about them in the best possible way.
Admittedly, not all of the tracks are to the same high level but there are enough to warrant a four star opinion from me and highly recommended if you were mulling over a possible purchase.
April has turned out to be a good month for unusually 'listenable' releases.
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