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Black Affair - Pleasure Pressure Point

Black Affair, Pleasure Pressure Point

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

FOR his latest incarnation, Steve Mason (of Beta Band and King Biscuit Time fame), goes solo as Black Affair – but the results are probably his least successful offering to date.

Best described as minimalistic industrial pop, the album is rooted in the ’80s electro pop scene and sound checks everyone from Kraftwerk and Beck to Hot Chip during the course of its overlong and borderline repetitive 13 songs.
Hence, while his ex-band members continue to engage as part of The Aliens (their song on the 21 soundtrack being a particular corker), Mason still feels as though he’s living in the past. And, quite frankly, the ’80s revivalist scene is becoming a little tired right now.

That’s not to say Pleasure Pressure Point is a complete write-off, merely a disappointment from a man who has given us so much pleasure as part of other outfits.

Occasionally, a track comes to life, such as the catchy Its Real, which is knowingly more pop in its outlook (courtesy of the bouncing synth stabs, electro handclaps and Hot Chip-inspired vocals), or the forthcoming single Japanese Happening, which drops an atmospheric background synth over some whispered vocals and a sharper sense of style than normal.

You And Me also has a nice zip to it, while the pop sensibilities of Reel To Reel are there for all to savour and bounce along with.

But efforts like Just Keeping Walking and Will She Come (the latter, which drones rather than enchants) drag the album down a notch or three and it’s then that proceedings begin to outstay their welcome.
It’s then that you realise that even in its brighter moments, the album isn’t really stretching itself in many new directions and even Mason’s vocals sound curiously muted.

We’d had high hopes for Black Affair, but sadly the love affair was only fleeting.

Download picks: Japanese Happening, Its Real, You And Me, Reel To Reel

Track listing:

  1. PPP
  2. It Goes Like This
  3. Just Keep Walking
  4. It’s Real
  5. Japanese Happening
  6. You And Me
  7. Reel To Reel
  8. Subfuge
  9. Will She Come
  10. Sweet Tak! Attack
  11. Mute Me
  12. Pills