"spam n space" (Album, 2007)
Though dating back to 2007, I wanted to highlight this debut (and to date only) album from German Oliver Gerling as it’s a rather curious find. I came across neongrau first on YouTube and subsequently Facebook. First contact was when browsing around listening to Depeche Mode remixes (both official and otherwise) on YouTube where neongrau’s rather impressive cover of DM’s debut single Photographic really caught my ear and impressed in a sea of generally mediocre fan work. This then led me to the cool video for neongrau’s own high level slacker which, as it turns out, is something of a signature mood for this album as a whole.
Though not entirely 8-bit in execution this low-res, retro-inspired ten-track CD album should appeal to the 8-bit fan community. If you’re into the more edgy minimal electronic pop of early Mute you too are likely to tune in to much of this. (The Photographic cover is included here.) John Foxx enthusiasts should appreciate short, whilst the opening fifteen seconds of taste in taste could be incidental music to Doctor Who from the early 70s as if it had been written by (a pre-Human League) The Future.
Gerling's voice has a distinctive twang to its English lyrical delivery, a bit like a young Peter Murphy at times dare I say? Bubbling with what to me sounds like a suppressed acerbic wit, spam n space provides a valuable wonky world view in a sub-genre still rich with opportunity. Let’s hope there’s more to come from neongrau yet. 7/10
Rob Dyer (December 2011)