[The Box sleeve]"The Box" (Single, 2007)

Wonderland Records

A cracking electro/pop single that smartly combines chip tune geekiness, an arm waving melody, and an understated but arresting female vocal. There are four variants of the same tune with the opening Radio Edit and Full Version playing up the bubbling low-fi C64 80s nostalgia. The Tiger Baby Remix pumps up the bassline and is the least interesting entry here - although the cheesy Linndrum roll is a guilty delight ;-). White O's Remix takes The Box onto the dancefloor with a subtle build and some nice filtering, neatly avoiding all the clichés in the process.

The Radio Edit is the real gem here. A concentrated hit that smartly balances lovely analogue bass synths, 80s electropop tunefulness (and those great 8-bit bouncing bleeps) with a 00s perspective and smart production. 7/10

Rob Dyer (November, 2007)

[Private Machine sleeve]"Private Machine" (Single, 2006)

Wonderland Records

After seeing my review of Thermostatic's The Box single, label Wonderland very kindly sent me a pile of discs to review, including more stuff by Thermostatic. This four-track single (the title track also taken from the band's debut album) contains three mixes of Private Machine plus Sw337 9RL (aka 'Sweet Girl' - anyone who can admit to hours of misspent youth compiling phrases on your pocket calculator will know all about such things - like yours truly ;-). I was always better with words than numbers so I guess it's logical that I should have used a calculator to come up with with words by typing in carefully selected digits and turning the calculator upside down to read them.) Anyway, I digress...

Private Machine is an obvious single choice - its another simple electropop ditty with female vocals, a touch of vocoder, walking bassline and a cute chorus, with a 'warm' kinda feel to it. Likeable stuff. The two remixes are by Mesh and, true to form, leave me largely stone cold, with the instrumental version being the best of the two. Final track Sw337 9RL utilises more raspy C64 8-bit sounds applied to a minimalist and short tale of a presumably sweet girl trying to tempt a guy to stay overnight. Slight stuff but pleasant nonetheless. 6/10

Rob Dyer (March, 2008)

[So Close So Near sleeve]"So Close So Near" (Single, 2006)

Wonderland Records

With this five-track sneek peek at Thermostatic's Joy Toy album label and band have decided to pluck out typically bubbly pop song So Close So Near. A wise selection me thinks as the vanilla album version (track four) demonstrates all the qualities that help Thermostatic stand out from the crowd. On face value it's chirpy electropop but close inspection reveals more subtleties and emotional depth. Clever studio and production details too.

Label mates Universal Poplab get to do their lightweight thing twice on the title track with their jaunty Radio Edit and (my preference) the more beat-driven Extended cut. There's also the Code 64 Armakuni version which inserts a thumping muted bass drum and ever so unimaginative cheap hi-hats to predictable effect. Result: cheesy euro trance. Nasty. Thankfully No Hands wraps up the single on a positive note. A squeezing mashup of low-bit pop and more straightlaced electro - this is what I always thought Client should sound like. 6/10

Rob Dyer (March, 2008)

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