ChromaticsContray to popular belief digital is not always better. Johnny Jewel might agree with you. It feels like this man has dedicated his life as a musician to the atmospheric force of old analog synthesizers and the sound of the past. His label Italians Do It Better – who freshly released their long awaited new sampler After Dark 2 – became something like an asylum for all the musicians who love the simple analog synthesizer sounds of late 70s and early 80s. Something between early synthie-pop, dark wave and italo disco. And in the center of everything – Mr. Johnny Jewel, who’s also part of the formations DESIRE and GLASS CANDY. Well, and, of course, the label’s most successful output CHROMATICS. This might explain the distinctive sound of the group but it doesn’t explain the hype the band and her latest longplayer Kill For Love from 2012 experienced.

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Okay, so CHROMATICS are hip and cool which made it easy for the band to sell out their Berlin show at the Lido last night. After the first scheduled show in the famous Berghain was cancelled a couple of months ago, it’s an evening a lot of fans and hip people have been waiting for. Kill For Love, for sure, is a very interesting record. Quite ambitious and fascinating, although – and probably because of the fact that – the songs are very diversified and its probably a bit too long. But it’s pure, honest and full of hits. And CHROMATICS have a certain sense for representing the beauty of the imperfect. A credo probably everybody at Italians Do It Better lives. The sounds are analog, very simple, never perfectly mixed, very organic and … well, always a bit imperfect. And as long as such a lovely voice like Ruth Radelet performs them we couldn’t care less about such little loveable details.

Playing only for something like 70 minutes, CHROMATICS slowly unfold their dark and danceable magic on that night. Starting with their famous instrumental Tick Of The Clock – taken from the movie Drive – the crowd slowly gets excited. It’s not much an event to dance to, clap your hands and sing along – but the cheering and the applause will speak for themselves on that night. Next tracks are the hypnotic Lady and the powerful title track of the last album. Radelet unfolds her fragile siren-like vocals over the pumping sequencer bass lines from Jewel. It’s quite an enjoyable view to see this man playing all the synthie lines live. The whole combination of all these elements creates a catchy hypnotic feeling. Radelets voice leads you deeper into and through the darkness, her three bandmembers create a raw but catchy synthie-pop sound. Tracks like Cherry or These Streets Will Never Look That Same are true bliss. And we surely don’t need to talk about their two great covers Running Up That Hill and Into The Black (originally by KATE BUSH and NEIL YOUNG).

Throughout the whole show Radelet constantly thanked the audience although they found it hard to understand her gentle voice… well, and there was the whole applause too. Magic was in their air and maybe we can clearly reduce the hype to one simple but always effective argument – this is really good music, quite special special. We all felt it on that night and we highly appreciate this. Sometimes you don’t need much science to explain such things – and Mr. Jewel would probably agree on this.