Alex Gopher

Alex Gopher

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Although Alex Gopher made his name internationally as a producer, remixer, and DJ, his roots are in more pop-oriented territory. From 1985 to 1991, Gopher was one-fourth of Orange, an electronic dance-pop band from his hometown of Versailles, France. When half of the group, Nicolas Godin and Jean-BenoƮt Dunkel, split to form the duo Air, Gopher quietly made a name for himself with Daft Punk-like dance albums like 1998's You, My Baby & I and 2002's Wuz, along with a ton of remix credits. Alex Gopher is a return to the past, a deliberate evocation of Orange's late-'80s sound: basically, what that means is that this album is an unapologetic homage to New Order and their followers. First single "Brain Leech" even throws in a recurrent melodic bass riff so blatantly lifted from the New Order playbook that Peter Hook should get royalties, and "The Game" explores the same Ibiza-inspired beats as their 1989 album Technique. The unashamedly commercial "Carmilla," meanwhile, mines the Brit-funk pop of A Certain Ratio and late-era Orange Juice in pretty much exactly the same way that Franz Ferdinand do. For old times sake, Dunkel and Godin make appearances, as does fellow '80s obsessive Olivier Libaux of Nouvelle Vague. Die-hard house music fans may well be horrified by the forthright pop direction of Alex Gopher, and many of the retro-pop fans who are its target demographic will miss it simply because they don't look in the dance/electronica bins at their local CD emporium. But this is a catchy, good-humored, and unpretentious throwback to Gopher's roots that's hard not to enjoy.

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