Ladytron : 604

Pan-European group salute electronic sounds of the past, and make them their own

Don’t like to brag, but [I]NME[/I] invented Ladytron in 1995 for a laugh. Not Ladytron the stupendous deadpan krautpop revivalists from Bulgaria via Liverpool, but Ladytron: The Concept. Back then they were called I Dream Of Wires and we made them up, wrote an in-depth feature on their ‘phenomenon’ then killed them off in a sickening April Fools’ Day bus crash.

Six years on, Ladytron slide perfectly vacuum-moulded from the Kraftwerk production line, a brand new model of synthesised splendour, power songwriting, and industrial dance shudderings. ‘He Took Her To A Movie’, ‘The Way That I Found You’ and ‘Jet Age’ capture the exotic Teutonic soul of ‘Don’t You Want Me’ or ‘The Model’ while sounding thrillingly modern. ‘Skools Out’ stabs way more stilettos into the spine than any Ashcroft bombastathon despite being played entirely on a broken electric razor, their stony electro-cool tapered by a dry Lancashire morbidity. “Northern lights catch you coming down” goes ‘Playgirl’, Stereolabishly, “Sleep your way out of your hometown”.

Just how amazing is ‘604’? On ‘Paco!’ a woman called Miro Ayoro deadpans the theme to [I]Are You Being Served?[/I] in a thick Bulgarian accent. And you can dance to it. It’s what the mighty Wires would have wanted.

Mark Beaumont