CD, Section 44, 2006
Section 44’s new signing Eight To Infinity were first formed in 2002 by Alistair Thomson and Arron Clague in an attempt to create a diverse mixture of soft electronics including elements of light melodic Synthpop layered nicely together by a strong Classical foundation. Now joined by vocalist Sophie Scott and Val Wallace at the production helm, the band are out to set the world of Synthpop alight with their excellent debut “Aether”.
Now it’s not often I can say this but, even from the hearing the first minute of this album I knew that I was going to be in for a treat. The album opens with the aptly titled ‘Opening Aether’ which then gracefully falls into easily one of the strongest tracks on the album, “Undiscovered Breath”. With such a fantastic opening to the album there is a somewhat pessimistic part of you that is left wondering “ok, how long can this possibly last?” but, and I’m very pleased to say, this just isn’t the case. The album seemingly heads through many impressive changes to keep the listeners attention, but not once sacrifices the bands original sound and concept that if done incorrectly, could have quite possibly lost the overall presentation and enjoyment of the album. On the song front, there are many tracks on here that I can see becoming underground favourites. The pop-driven tracks such as “Run From Me”, “Carbon Dating”, “Tidal Waves” and “Say You’ll Come” are sure to be welcomed with open arms by Synthpop, New Wave and Electropop dance floors worldwide, whilst the more euphoric and ethereal tracks such as “Tears”, “Transmitter” and my personal pick, the excellent “Travelogue” are perfect for more tranquil moments of personal listening pleasure.
To say this debut is anything short of jaw-dropping would be an understatement. Sophie Scott’s voice alone could have had this album sold for me! Throw into the mixing pot the wonderful flow of the album and the astonishing song writing, and you have the makings of a Synthpop classic. The only real flaw of the album is the length. Totalling in at roughly 43 minutes, it can be frustrating as (and you can take my word for it) you will want to hear more. A simply incredible debut that is a must have for any Synthpop fan.
— Paul Marcham