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Mekon - Something Came Up

Mekon, Some Thing Came Up

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1.5 out of 5

THE dark, menacing electronics of underground dance king Mekon return for a third album that’s packed with dark atmospherics and surprise guest appearances.

Mekon is, of course, a former member of Psychic TV and Agent Provocateur but in solo form likes to trawl the darker side of the dance spectrum with his signature blend of scuzzy, dirty beats and an overall sense of menace.

This is best exemplified on second track and title track Some Thing Came Up where the focus remains firmly on Mekon’s keyboards and beats – they come at you fast and bleak, with warped orchestrals and a really intense feel.

Come the end of the album, this gets a little overbearing and is certainly more underground-based – but there’s no denying the curiosity value attached to the album because of the quality of some of Mekon’s guests.

These include Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie on Blood On The Moon – which is actually one of the more disappointing offerings, especially given the added presence of Alan Vega – and Marc Almond on Delirious.

But for the most part, this is a largely forgettable cross of undergroud beats, hard house and techno that maintains a dark, borderline Goth focus throughout.

GSE sounds like a contemporary take on Paul Hardcastle’s 19 that goes flatline midway through (literally) – but the result is more annoying than anything and hardly endears you to the rest of the album.

While Yes Yes Y’All is a hard fusion of techno beats and hip-hop style vocals from Roxanne Shante that’s pretty tedious, while Maria You First is a pretty forgettable offering that lacks anything to make it really exciting.

Marc Almond’s contribution is one of few memorable offerings, drawing on an even edgier vibe than some of his Soft Cell stuff and making his distinct vocals sound sinister over the top of the foreboding beats.

While final track K.Blues, featuring Kev Phil Mob, is a genuinely thrilling blend of blues guitars, Deep South vocals and cracking beats. It is the undoubted album highlight and one for the iPod and MP3 generation to download individually and check out.

Sadly, it comes too late for even Africa Bambaataa’s typically gutsy contribution to D-Funktional sounds pretty awful.

Fans of Mekon and slabs of dark dance tracks will probably find something to like and revel in – particularly if they like dark clothing and heavy eyeliner – but this is a niche market that quickly became a turn off for me.

Track listing:

  1. Boy Bitten-Feat. Rita Brown
  2. Something Came Up
  3. Blood On The Moon-Feat. Alan Vega & Bobby Gillespie
  4. G.S.E.
  5. Yes Yes Y’all-Feat. Roxanne Shante
  6. Show Mercy
  7. Delirious-Feat. Marc Almond
  8. Maria You First
  9. D-Funktional-Feat. Afrika Bambaataa
  10. K.Blues-Feat. Kev Pill Mob