We must admitting to loving this a bundle.

Sounds like the Clangers aboard some galactic ice cream van doing a roaring trade in deliciously dippy candy toned cornets with the Super Mario brothers at the controls as they traverse backwards in time to an age of crooked (as was then) state of the art electronic baroque pop whose roots and heritage disarmingly belongs in a 70’s styled kitsch filled era of library lounge, open university broadcasts (especially on the bopping binary pop of ‘travel kid’ with its funky wannabe John Baker casing) and episodes of ‘Vision On’.

‘Adventure’ is both the debut album title and the nom de plume of a certain North Carolina based musician better known to friends and family as Benny Boeldt who it seems delights in crafting out brightly perky and cheerful golden age promenade pop that if we didn’t known better should appeal in the main to fans and admirers of the hallowed Trunk imprint. Now recently signed up to the eminent Carpark imprint whose enviable roster includes Beach House, Casino Vs Japan, Lexie Mountain and of course the ridiculously skewiff talent of Dan Deacon (who incidentally Mr Boeldt has recently completed a stage interpretation of ‘Jurassic Park’ with) as well as playing host to sub labels Paw Tracks (Animal Collective et al) and Acute (the Lines et al), ’Adventure’ marks the debut outing by this precocious of talents.

Minimalist, monochrome and very much lo-fi in its delivery and texture Adventure’s roots can be traced through its retro dialects to draw a bloodline line that tunes itself into early career ISAN, Maps and Diagrams, elements of Add N to X, Vince Clarke era Depeche Mode (check out if you will the dinky ’Hyper Glow’), Goblin, John Carpenter (no more so than on ‘crypt castle cult‘ with restyling applied by a pre disco dolly Human League), kraut electro (the space age cosmic hyper driving ’iron stallion’ impishly nibbles into territories more commonly laid by the super group Fly) and Raymond Scott.

Very much in awe of all things sci-fi albeit transplanted to an age and era of flock wallpaper, summer seaside specials, spangles and bubbling hot Tarmac, there’s an unerring vintage quality a la Fireball XLS / Jamie and the Magic Torch (check out the multi layered robo disco styled Studio 54 futuristically recreated ‘battle cat’) about these 11 tracks with the odd ‘Blade Runner’ sample infused for good measure (as on ‘poison diamonds’). Elsewhere ‘wild wild ride’ impishly nods in the general direction of Devo while the parting ‘Jurassic park city’ has we swear elements of Middle of the Road’s ‘chirpy chirpy cheap cheap’ being sumptuously messaged amid the grooves. Really space cadets how can you resist?

Key tracks –

Jurassic park city
Battle cat
Travel kid

First published – July 2008

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