Sunday, November 22, 2020

Alice in Videoland - "Maiden Voyage" [2003]

Artist: Alice in Videoland
Title: Maiden Voyage
Genre: Synthpop, Electroclash
Country: Sweden
Release date: 2003

Track List: 

  1. Lay Me Down
  2. Got To Go
  3. Going Down
  4. Red
  5. Dance With Me
  6. Video Girl
  7. Panic
  8. Addicted
  9. Naked
  10. Sweet Thing

Alice in Videoland are another band that's more of a "guilty pleasure" to me, although their albums "Maiden Voyage", "Outrageous" and "She's a Machine" have attained somewhat of a cult status well before the wave of female-fronted electroclash in the 2010s:

"Our imaginary Alice fell into the rabbit hole on a chilly day in May 2002. Toril Lindqvist had been a guitar player in various rock bands for years, but was beginning to feel tormented by musical inspiratio that didn't quite fit into any Rock and Roll context. She wanted to be a singer. In something more "electronic" than a rock band. Finally one day she took a long shot and phoned old friend Carl Lundgren.

Skeptical in the extreme, Carl agreed to hook up for a brain storming session. The two met a couple of times and became inspired by the fact that they really had nothing in common musically; this would actually become the fuel of their creative process. Early on, the duo would make attempts at "Body Music meets Punk Rock meets Commodore 64", inspired by an imaginary and unholy alliance of DAF, The Clash and Rob Hubbard.

A couple of simple demos were released during the late summer of 2002, and surprisingly generated lots of acclaim! With fuelled enthusiasm, the duo christened their project "Alice in Videoland" from a 1984 Commodore 64 computer game. Anders Lundgren (keyboards) and Anders Alexander (drums) were recruited in February 2003. Johan Dahlbom (bass) joined in November the same year. At this point, Alice in Videoland had begun receiving massive praise for their energetic and charismatic live show.

In the midst of this early experimentation process, off the hype of a five track demo and less than ten gigs, Alice in Videoland suddenly found themselves battered with offers. Eight different labels expressed their interest in signing the band, who were eventually attracted to the relative freedom offered by Swedish label National. AiV began recording their album in June 2003, partly assisted by Micke Lohse (Atomic Swing). Curious of cross-genre experimentation, the band elaborated on their sound, drawing inspiration from a spectrum of genres ranging from EBM, synthpop and electro through to disco, rock and punk.

And sure enough - in the following months their sound evolved from being arguably concept driven into something truly musically interesting. The debut album, Maiden Voyage contains a peculiar mixture of electronic pop, punk and hard EBM beats..."
Their live shows were praised a lot at the time, but there aren't many recordings on YouTube as I expected. When it comes to "Maiden Voyage", I'd generally agree with the description above - it's something in between of synthpop (in the vein of Ayria), EBM and electroclash, with a healthy dose of (cyber)punk attitude:

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