Review: It's been a long time between drinks for John Maus, the former college roommate of Ariel Pink with a fondness for blending baroque "modes" and moody, often lo-fi '80s synth-pop. Screen Memories is the producer's first new album since 2011, and glistens from start to finish. After opening with the grandiose synthesizer soundscapes of "Combine" (think Handel on Fairlights, and you're close), Maus delivers a range of atmospheric instrumental and vocal synth-pop gems dripping with Italo-disco style arpeggio lines, John Carpenter flourishes and decidedly cheap, lo-fi drum machine rhythms. At times, such as on "Teenage Witch", he sounds like "No More Heroes"-era Stranglers jamming with Com Truise, at others - see "Touchdown" - like Gary Numan circa "Cars". It's an intoxicating and entertaining blend.
Review: Thanks to the lengthy gap between 2011's We Must Become The Pitless Sensors of Ourselves and last year's acclaimed Screen Memories, John Maus built up a vast archive of new material. Hence Addendum, an album marketed as a "companion piece" to Screen Memories. Interestingly, much of the material is far more carefree and jubilant than the tracks chosen for its atmospheric and moody predecessor (for proof, see "Episodes" and "Running Man"). It's arguably more in keeping with the lo-fi, off-kilter style of skewed synth-pop - influenced by Baroque modes, as always - with which the Ariel Pink associate made his name. It is, then, a joyous blast from the past packed to the rafters with memorable moments.