Review: In some circles, Arvo's 1984 album Luna is considered something of a lost synth-pop classic. It was unarguably the high point of Arvo's career, with the album's two most lauded tracks - "Bikini" and "So Deep" - remaining popular with dusty-fingered Balearic beards. Here those two tracks are given the reissue treatment by New Zealand imprint Strangelove Music. You'll find the breezy, stylish and largely slo-mo original versions on the A-side, with fresh reworks on the flip. First, French producer Shelter does a brilliant job in extending "Bikini", wisely extending the dreamy first section and making more of the Brazilian-influenced synthesizer motifs, before Aussie Italo-disco digger Hysteric delivers a head-nodding instrumental take on "So Deep" that's worth the entrance price on its own.
Review: New kids on the reissue block, New Zealand's Strangelove Music are off to a flying start with this beautiful 1983 art pop record from subversive chanteuse Lena D'Agua. "Jardim Zoologico" fuses electro boogie with Afrofunk with healthy measures of cosmic polish while "Tao" is a straight up Balearic gem that sparkles with sentiment and horizontal soul. Only ever released on Portuguese label Valentim De Carvalho, this reissue is over 30 years overdue.
Review: Strangelove Music's latest vinyl-only outing dips into the infrequently explored archives of American multi-instrumentalist Frank Harris and collaborator Maria Marquez, a pairing that previously released a couple of sought after "ethno-wave" singles in the late 1980s. "Echoes" gathers together unreleased music made in 1985, presenting it as an unheard album that oozes off-kilter quality from start to finish. Most of the tracks were made using Harris' custom Synclavier synthesizer station, with his humid and breezy new age melodies and dreamy chords working brilliantly with Marquez's folksy, multi-lingual vocals, a variety of world music inspired rhythms and some seriously atmospheric field recordings. It's a formula that guarantees unusual but inspired results from start to finish.