7 April 2008

Freur - Doot Doot

Year of Release: 1983
Label: CBS

Of course, Karl Hyde out of Underworld would probably love us to forget that he was ever in a crimp-haired, futuristic synth-pop outfit called Freur, but rather unfortunately for him the modern Internet allows us to conclusively prove his past.

Not that (dubious hairstyles aside) he really has much to be ashamed of. "Doot Doot" is the kind of atmospheric, marginally eerie, subtly catchy synth-driven thing that could always be found hovering somewhere outside or around the Top 40 in the early part of the eighties. The track evolves gradually into the big instrumental hook at the end, which is actually rather pleasing in an epic sort of way. Nice. The only major criticism which can be made of this venture is the fact that the band decided to represent their name on the sleeve and record label as a giant squiggle, an attempt to invent band names of the future that really didn't meet with any success (unless your name was Prince).

Karl would of course go on to much better things, but I don't really think this is juvenalia to stay awake at night worrying about.


Paperback Tourist said...

What are your thoughts on the current reinvention of OMD as radical/subversive pop genius?

23 Daves said...

I take it you're referring to the remaster of "Dazzle Ships"? I don't own a single OMD album, so therefore I have no opinion on this (yet!)

"Dazzle Ships" does reference a lot of themes that are interests of mine, though - the samples of the spy radio transmissions from the Eastern Bloc for example - so I've always been meaning to buy or obtain a copy. I'm just a little bit suspicious of the whole thing, although I've perhaps no reason to be. Numerous people have been trying to convince me that OMD were an under-rated band for at least the last decade now.

Paperback Tourist said...

Yes, I am referring to 'Dazzle Ships'. I don't have an opinion about it one way or the other, but I'm puzzled and surprised by it. Perhaps they're the electronic XTC? Coincidentally, OMD were the first band I ever saw, as support act to Gary Numan in 1979.

Paperback Tourist said...

But If we're talking pompous 80s new pop, I'll go for this lot at the moment

23 Daves said...

I first noticed people going on about it on Internet forums and blogs like this one four or five years ago - from there, it seems to have taken on a life of its own. It is odd, but I suppose no less odd than the rise of Vashti (from obscure sixties psych comps to glory) or Bill Fay (ditto) and certainly not as odd as Mike Batt having his own TV adverts and "Best Of" album. And airbrushing out The Wombles like they never happened. It's a funny business, pop.