2002 musical highlights

Some fantastic music was releaed in 2002, and I managed to churn through a large amount of it despite the demise of Audiogalaxy as a useful method for musical discovery.

Electroclash

Perhaps the most exciting movement to come to the fore in 2002 was the Electroclash idea, or "Electrocash" to its critics. A future-retro musical movement with a distinctive electro sound reminiscent of 80s electro-pop but with a more polished, dance-influenced style.

The most successful, yet least talented, of the Electrocash phenomenon were probably Fischerspooner who scored a million pound deal with Ministry of Sound in 2002. While FS are blatantly money-driven, cashing in on the hype, they're also very clearly taking the piss and enjoying the bullshit machine they have built. We were lucky enough to catch their gig at David Bowie's Meltdown in London. The gig combined high camp values (coresetted dancing bimbos miming to the music) with high-tech lighting and effects -- think geeks set loose in a theatrical effects store with someone else's chequebook. Great fun and suitably silly.

More substantial musically were Crossover and Ladytron. I saw Crossover twice last year. Once at a small Electrolash gig at the ICA and again at Fabric. Both gigs were great. Standout tracks from their album Fantasmo: Phostographt and Extensive Care.

Ladytron had a fantastic album, 604, in 2001, neatly pre-empting the whole Electroclash hype machine. Their 2002 album, Light & Magic, was for some reason released in the UK a lot later than the North American release. Strange for a UK band. Anyway, the new album was pretty good, particularly the track Seventeen. Ladytron played a London gig that I managed to catch. Despite being incredibly crowded, they played a fantastic set and really had the crowd in the palm of their hands, no mean feat for a band without the usual on-stage histrionics.

My most exciting musical find for the year was Detroit band Adult who put out a late-2001 album, Resuscitation. Their incredible robotic electro has infectious rhythms with crunchy sounds and really well made vocoder vocals. If you only take note of one thing on this page, check out Adult.