CD, Substream, 2007
Swedish label Substream seem to have a rare talent for signing great bands and Rubikon are no exception. The duo of Tiff Lacey (vocals) and Huw Williams (synths, programming) are no strangers to success in the field of electronic music. Looking back of some of their past credentials is very impressive indeed, having previously worked with the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Matt Darey, Conjure One, Faithless and Dido, to name but a few. The latest project sees the duo taking a break from their normal areas of expertise, focusing their goals primarily on the world of Electropop.
Although described by the band themselves as an Electropop album, “Wonderland” just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover. There is of course a solid foundation of Electropop in the structure of the album, but there are many other unexpected twists awaiting as the album progresses. Subtle hints of Dance, Trip-Hop and even Indie-rock are what I think makes this album work so well. If you like me had expected just you’re average run-the-mill Electropop album, then I think you’ll be pleasantly refreshed with what you hear. A vast majority of the tracks do tend to be of a slow tempo nature, with a simple yet effective approach to them. A large proportion of the tracks are fundamentally driven by infectious bass grooves and the harmonies of Tiff Lacey’s vocals, which I may add are nothing short of breathtaking. For those of you that enjoyed Tiff Lacey ‘s musical contributions to the Trance scene, then this album really is a must have for your collection.
The chosen single for the album, “Adore”, is just one of many possible anthems that could stand up to being a potential hit. Along with the splendid club driven remix by of “Adore” by David Amo and Julio Navas, the album has no end of surprises. From the wonderfully upbeat “Brittle” (a track that could quite honestly give Goldfrapp a run for their money), the dreamy “Why Keep On”, to the blissfully catchy “Telephone”, Rubikon just keep on proving that there are no limits to what they can accomplish . So much so that I even think this band could potentially reach mainstream chart success if marketed properly.
It’s still fairly early days to say whether or not this is going to be the Electropop release of the year but trust me, it is definitely a strong contender. “Wonderland” is wonderful.
— Paul Marcham