Ladytron : He took her to a movie

Sometimes you have to wonder whether alien brain-beam machines are sucking information out of your mind and creating the perfect Photofit composite of everything you love about pop music.

Sometimes you have to wonder whether alien brain-beam machines are sucking information out of your mind and creating the perfect Photofit composite of everything you love about pop music. Ever had one of those days? This is such a fantastic record I keep having to play it again and again just in case I dreamed it into existence.

It sounds like it was made in 1981, easily the most futuristic year in pop history- or at least the high-water mark for a certain type of left-field pop future which never happened, all monochrome European coldness and Teutonic techno-noir. The product of a group which includes two Liverpool DJs and an icy Swedish chanteuse, this

sounds like Abba’s ‘The Day Before You Came’ and Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’ and ‘I’m In Love With A German Film Star’ by The Passions. In spare language and Nico-esque tones, it describes what may well be a bizarre love triangle between a man, a woman and a female robot

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the clunky throbbing of antique synthesisers. This may be artful Betamax retro-pop but with no trace of postmodern irony D it’s too hypnotic, too perfectly realised, too moving for pastiche.

There’s a sci-fi xylophone instrumental and a slice’n’dice Surreal Madrid remix, but you keep returning to the doomed romance and numb yearning of the exquisite original. Sod the millennium D I’m off to East Berlin. Tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1981.

Stephen Dalton