Album Reviews

Fischerspooner – #1 (Studio)

(Ministry of Sound) UK release date: 6 May 2002

Fischerspooner - #1 (Studio)

Fresh from signing a reported US$2m, one album record deal with Ministry OfSound, Fischerspooner are sure to be everywhere this summer, which is why it makes sense that this, their debut album, has been re-released.

No. 1 first appeared as an import-only album on DJ Hell‘s influential and very much in-vogue electropop imprint, International DeejayGigolos. Now re-mastered, it sounds just as exciting and important as it did when it was first released, despite now appearing in the middle of a never-ending line of ‘electroclash’ copyists and wannabes.

This is the original sound of ‘synthcore’: a short burst of synthetic techno beats, simple bass-lines and poignant vocals. Fischerspooner write punk music from an electronic music perspective. This album sounds like it cost next to nothing to make, but you find yourself thinking they deserve every penny they’re getting.

Invisible comes in as a mission statement for the whole electropop scene, all digitally harmonised vocals and syncopated bass. Fischerspooner have a reputation for being ‘arty’, but it is not evident here. This is a traditional album, a collection of songs. The 15th, a cover version, is the simplest and catchiest song here, exhibits the fragile side of Casey Spooner’s vocals, complimenting Warren Fischer’s basic melodies.

Emerge was the electropop anthem of last summer and, due to the re-release of this album, its success looks set to be repeated this year. This is the song which kick-started a whole scene, and made many artists realise that a four-note bass line plus sleazy lyrics plus boy/girl vocals equals storming club/chart hit. This is perfect pop for trendy clubbers.

The highlight is the ballad, Tone Poem. Taking lyrics from an old school notebook, this is at once dark, delicate and emotional, taking simple harmonies which allow Spooner to weave a haunting melody around them.

The band have their lighter moments too as on Ersatz and Fucker; great slabs of electro machine-funk with playful melodies, the former sounding not too dissimilar to some tracks from Aphex Twin‘s Ambient Works Vol 1.

Fischerspooner are going to be known as a camp, intense and exciting electropop act, making throwaway pop music with computers. But this album shows that unlike so many of their contemporaries, they have a darker, more sensitive and precious side. Something which will see them outlast all the others when the ‘electroclash’ scene comes to an end and the pretenders are catching up with the next trend.

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More on Fischerspooner
Fischerspooner – Entertainment
Fischerspooner @ Koko, London
Fischerspooner – Odyssey
Fischerspooner @ Bridge, London
Fischerspooner – #1 (Studio)