Heat is the new LP from Holland’s Hunter Complex, a record that looks to balance a functional (and very Dutch) ‘utility pop’ with a whole host of disturbing hints and suggestions. It’s a slightly unnerving listen, despite its attractive and powerful sweeps of melody. Recorded between 2010 and 2012, Heat manages – often very successfully – to persuade the listener that they’re tuning into a strange mix of Moroder’s film scores and ‘81-‘82 era Simple Minds. Digital synths, like the Roland D-50 and Yamaha DX7, give everything a suitably ‘period feel’. And the keys on Space are straight off Sons and Fascination, for example. Severed Heads covering China Crisis? Chris and Cosey making symphonic advert music in downtown LA? We can but dream.
But enough comparisons. Despite the LP wearing its sources of inspiration on its sleeve, and despite the fact that our descriptive narratives have (inevitably) to follow suit, it’s a seductive listen. Queasy, paranoid synth washes, rich, gloopy bass tones and weighty electronic stabs of rhythm drive the music on. The record’s got a feel of Stalker about it; cinematic, a taste of future-past served up on a plastic plate. Joep van Lieshout’s vision for communal living maybe, or a future that’s just out of reach, probably because it never escaped being imaginary.