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Go BackTechno Squirrels: nuts about music.

Posted: 27/8/07 12:08

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From the ´50s pastiche cover art of their debut album Plastic Makes It Possible, to the note on the sleeve that the album is carbon neutral, electronic two piece Techno Squirrels initially push the button marked "irritating try-hard." Don´t go jumping to conclusions though, as there´s more to the story than kitsch gimmickry.

Known to their friends as Lisa Eriksson and Ryan Harlin, the duo hail, respectively, from Sweden and Philadelphia. (You can tell, incidentally. Harlin is the picture of an amiable, beardy East Coast muso; Eriksson is a stunning Karen Elson look-alike with glacier blue eyes.) Unusually, this is their only concession to the stereotypical gender dynamic of electro, where the bloke does all the knob-twiddling stuff and the lady is just there to look pretty and sing a bit. Eriksson is an experienced producer in her own right, and they appear to have a far more vibrant relationship than a lot of the above mentioned sort of duos.

That said, the music doesn´t swerve too far out of the bounds of what might be described as "Jenny Wilson-lite" or "a less weird Bjork." But where I come from that´s high praise, and they certainly deserve it.
Lisa has a crisp, clear, cool voice. The sort of voice that, coupled with a haughty glance, will send men running for cover. A trifle dominatrix-y, but relieved by a dash of warmth and zest. There are a lot of slow, easy, dreamy tracks: Repeat Til Fade, What You Want and Ecstatic would all be serviceable backdrops for upmarket dinner parties. It´s the zippier numbers, though, that really sink their hooks in. Music Is My Drug is built around a simple, utterly irresistible synth hook that defies you to not twitch in time. It´s ripe for remixing by someone with a suitably dirty mind: Audiofly, or perhaps Tom Neville could turn it into a filthy dancefloor monster.

The snarling electro of Hurt Me is equally ready to do damage to ears and synapses on a darkened room somewhere. (It´s probably the most immediately accessible tune, actually, and deserves to be a single). Current first single honours go to the winning house-inflected Love Comes First, as remixed by Carmen Rizzo vs Kris Thomas. It´s a bright, summery, high-stepping tune that will go down a treat with fans of easy-on-the-ears electronics. Like the rest of the album, it´s not quite a knock out punch, but a very promising first strike.

R: 6/10

Words by Cila Warncke