Vogue.Noir – Vogue Noir (2016)
Yet another random discovery on Bandcamp that turns out to be astonishingly good. Vogue Noir is the dark synthpop project of Dominique Cologne (Sato Sato), based out of London and this self titled EP is his first release for the project. Cologne’s penchant for electronic music with a raw, melancholic and dark emotional edge is exquisite. Influenced by the likes of Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, DAF and more recently Xeno & Oakland and TR/ST, the sound of Vogue Noir is distinctly 80’s in nature but without sounding dated at all.
One of the most striking aspects of this EP is Cologne’s vocal delivery; the wall of emotional depth conveyed is huge and you can’t help but resonate with the music. And the other most striking element is how well his vocal works with these incredibly strong songs. This is the full package. Vogue Noir has it all, great vocals, gorgeous melodies and enough emotional impact to drop jaws to the floor.
Right from the first bars of “Crush!” you get a feeling that you’re listening to something special. The dark and reverb laden vocals atop a throbbing beat lead to a maelstrom of synths and samples. It’s breathtakingly good and immaculately produced. The classic synthpop vibe of “Belief” is anything but standard, a huge vocal melody eliciting a joyously dark result. The TR/ST influence becomes apparent on the fantastic “Stratosphere”, both with vocal intonations and synth sounds. Simply stunning. Similarly with “Berlin”. The downtrodden melancholy of “Void” is heavy and poignant. However, saving the best for last, Vogue Noir closes with a collaboration with DRIFT, “Segments”. A smooth and eloquent vocal delivery from both Cologne and DRIFT, with lively synths and an uptempo beat, the track again demonstrates Vogue Noir’s ability to seemlessly blend gloomy vocals and atmospherics with melodic/energetic dance music; the chorus vocal melody here being particularly stunning.
Vogue Noir is an excellent EP of dark, alternative “synthpop” music. Recommended listening.
Available from Unknown Pleasures Records on Bandcamp here.