[Believe/Da Casio sleeve]"Believe/Da Casio" (Single, 2015)

Hard Cell Records

If label name Hard Cell rings a bell it will be because of their other act The Department, who firmly grabbed my attention a year ago. I say 'other' as this is the first release by someone other than The Department. However, there is a constant as Rob Green is the driving force behind both projects. 

Thirteen is a very different proposition to Green's other guise, here bridging the gap between his previous career as a Dance music artist in the 90s and his other influences. All of which are electronic. Believe is the focus here and faintly stimulates memories of mid-80s New Order with its combination of dance music roots and layered guitar work. 

On the two versions of Believe, Gene Serene is the guest vocalist. Curiously, her style of vocal delivery here is markedly different to her solo stuff, particular her most recent (and worth checking out) album The Polaris Experience released in July. Here, I immediately thought of She Made Me Do It and Shaheena Dax. There a similarly tough, confident attitude. 

Closing track Da Casio sees Green acting alone, with a playful look back at 80s Trios hit Da, Da, Da which, surprisingly, Green keeps in the low BPM zone, but adds another memorable melody that he's so darn good at conjuring up. 

With the very different approaches to the two tracks its difficult to say how essential Thirteen will be, and I've no idea what plans Green might have for the project. But, even if it is merely an outlet for other inspiration that doesn't fit appropriately under The Department banner, it should be worth keeping an ear out for. 7/10

Rob Dyer (November 2015)