Electric Bitch (Artizone)
~reviewed by Uncle Nemesis

A debut EP from a new band based in the English midlands. Conspiracy are an electronic outfit who, the info-sheet tells me, take their influences from 'the raw energy of early UK gothic music'  filtered through 'post millennium electro beats and synth lines'. That's an intriguing description - the fact that Conspiracy don't seem to align themselves with the currently popular EBM scene, preferring instead to find a more individual way of referring to their music, immediately grabs my attention. And, in truth, Conspiracy don't sound anything like the kind of VNV-lite stuff which passes for cutting-edge electronica these days. They have their own sound and their own style, which does indeed have a certain old-skool feel.

'Electric Bitch' appears here in an original version and two remixes. It's a slinky little number, a sleazy red-light district of a song, with a  jaunty, bouyant, synth-line kicking it along, and a splendidly throbbing bottom end. It recalls such 80s sleazery as 'Living On Video' by Trans-X, or first-album Soft Cell. The vocals are very dry, very English, enunciated in classic half-disdainful, half-camp tones. I'm sure the singer delivers the line 'electric cream cheese' at one point. No, surely not, he must be singing the title-line of the song. Oh, well, it'll always be 'electric cream cheese' to me. Somehow, it fits.

Sure, you can find all sorts of reference points in Conspiracy's music, and guess at influences. Aside from the usual 80s-electronica suspects, I'm willing to bet the band are fans of Nekromantik's 1999 album 'Fairy Catcher'. (If Conspiracy are looking for a cover, might I suggest Nekromantik's 'Children Go Bang'?) But it's so unusual to find a band doing this kind of music today - electronic stuff that's *not* nailed down to a boring old four-on-the-floor, that has wit and humour and a singer who can deliver more than the stereotype apocalyptic bark - that they instantly stand out from the crowd.

There's a fourth track tacked on the end here - 'Solitude' - a slow and spooky melodrama, which sounds bizarrely like an out-take from David Bowie's 'Low' crossed with Specimen. It's appropriately OTT, and has no trouble punching its musical weight. This, I suspect, is an insight into Conspiracy's dark side, and hints that there's more to this band than just the bouncy stuff. I'll look forward to hearing more.

The tunestack:
Electric Bitch
Electric Bitch (Monosect remix)
Electric Bitch (Philtrator remix)

The players:
John Murphy: Vocals, guitar, programming
Claire D.: Synths
Mark Barker: Synths

The website:

Reviewed by Uncle Nemesis: