Insider/Outsider  – Per W / Pawlowski (reviewed by T. Bebedor)

Eccentric, theatrical and immediately likeable, this 20-track album from two of Belgium’s most celebrated musicians encompasses years of genre-hopping and underlines the duo’s ability to find creative sparks in almost any setting. At times pop, European electro, Brit-Pop, punk, garage rock and radio-friendly tunes just to show they can do it all.

Kloot Per W and Mauro Pawlowski have pieced together an album that sounds unlike anything I’ve heard before, I know that sounds very dramatic but what I mean is the mixing of the album is very ‘front and centre’, it doesn’t seem to take the path of the left/right blend that comes with stereo audio mixing, instead it sits directly in the middle with the odd foray into either direction and it sounds better for it.

There is so much going on musically and lyrically that having this almost retro mix can sound like a 80’s mix tape that your best mate gave you without warning or explanation of what to expect. There is the opener ‘KPW on 45’ that sings about The Ramones yet is put to a backdrop of an ELO-type song, the Brian Eno heavy ‘Smokey Derision’, punk-like ‘Waiting For The Con Man’, sneaky tease of ‘Oe Oe Oe’ before we move onto indie ‘Land of The Most Forgotten’ and Kraftwerk industrial sounds of ‘Spanwerk’. These are musicians that have spent decades greedily eating from the table of popular music and, having taken this information, put together an album that baffles, confuses and blurs the lines between genres yet still having enough common ground to feel related and relatable.

I found myself skipping tracks, repeating tracks and quickly having a new favourite after each listen, it’s an album with lots of qualities and skill and definitely one to seek out.

 

 

 

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