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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Pocket

Five Single EP’s

Review by Gary Hill

Pocket is Richard Jankovich and here he’s released a set of several cuts featuring different singers. All the music here is essentially electronic pop – the kind that was popular in the 1980’s and it’s all good. There are a number of guests bringing their vocals to the table including Robyn Hitchcock and The Church’s Steve Kilbey. This is a strong set – and despite the fact that the majority of the tracks are repeated with the inclusion of remixes, it never seems to get monolithic or tired at all.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Surround Him With Love (feat. Robyn Hitchcock)

Percussive elements open this. Some melody comes over the top as it starts to work forward. There is a spoken kind of repetitive thing that emerges almost as a rhythmic element. There are some great guitar sounds over the top of this at times. The song has so many layers and textures. It is a classy tune.

Sampo (feat. Yuki Chikudate)
This cut is much more in an electro-pop kind of motif. Certainly the ‘80’s are alive and well here, too. It’s a cool tune.
Hear In Noiseville (feat. Steve Kilbey)
Still more electronic in nature, this is another catchy tune that feels like it could have come out of 1985.
Beautiful Gray (feat. Dave Smalley)
In some ways this isn’t all that different from the previous cuts, but there’s an almost Clash vibe to it and a definite hint of punk rock. This has quite a cool rhythmic element. 
Someone to Run Away From (feat. Craig Wedren)
There’s a more rocking element to this and it’s probably my favorite piece on show here. I could almost see putting this multi-layered composition under progressive rock.
Surround Him With Love (KKS Space Disco Mix) (feat. Robyn Hitchcock)
As one could probably guess from the title, this is a remix of the opening piece. It’s got more of dance element and some serious space built into it – but again, the title should give that away. 
Sampo (Mux Mool Remix) (feat. Yuki Chikudate)
Here we get another tasty remix of an earlier cut. I like this rhythmic beast a lot. 
Hear In Noiseville (Justus Köhncke Remix) (feat. Steve Kilbey)
In keeping with both the train we’ve got running and the spirit of truth in advertising, here’s another remix. This has a great groove and is a lot of fun. Somehow I get a bit of a Kraftwerk vibe at times here.
Beautiful Gray (Styrofoam Remix) (feat. Dave Smalley)
This makes me think both of Kraftwerk and Hawkwind (“Void City” anyone?) on the intro. As they continue there’s more of the rock element that made up the original version of this remix.
Someone to Run Away From (Spoolwork Remix) (feat. Craig Wedren)
Here we get another remix. This one comes in with lush layers of keyboard sounds. Later there’s an almost country music rhythm introduced to the piece. 
Let Her Close Her Eyes (feat. Shonali Bhowmik)
There’s a bit of a groove to the rhythm on this. I love both the keyboard sounds and the vocal delivery here. It’s a catchy cut that’s quite tasty. It has some elements that call to mind progressive rock quite a bit. 
Swept (feat. Loraine Lelis)
Here’s another ‘80’s inspired piece. This one’s good, but not really a standout compared to the rest of the material. 
Break Your Heart (feat. Kimi Recor)
This one has a definite dance mix sort of feeling to it. It’s cool, but I’m not sure I would have closed with it.
 
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