THE PERFECT KISS is a new project led by the multifaceted Joe Moore, whom many of you already know from his “classic pop” facet fronting projects like THE YEARNING and Lia Pamina. THE PERFECT KISS is another exercise in composition and arrangements for our Brit, but this time with a radically different register. “Disconnect” is a mini-LP of electro-pop, recorded with only a keyboard from 1985 – the Yamaha PortaSound PSS-450, that his friend Jeanie Pugh’s father gave him. His companion on this new adventure is Holly Vanags, a singer from Faringdon, Oxfordshire. Her stimulating voice, delicate and intelligent, perfectly adapts to the musical and conceptual universe of THE PERFECT KISS.
Using only a keyboard to record the eight songs on the album had countless consequences. Obviously, it affected the sound of the album – minimal, delicate, but agile and with a profoundly pop spirit. The thing is Joe Moore reminds us more and more of Stephin Merrit, for his versatility, his openness and prolificacy. In fact, THE PERFECT KISS, somehow, reminds us of FUTURE BIBLE HEROES. Though it also reminds us of AU REVOIR SIMONE, LALI PUNA, and even THE HUMAN LEAGUE. Another consequence had meta-musical effects. By using a keyboard as the only recording instrument, with its presets, sounds, and programmed drum machine, they couldn’t use a computer quantifier. This means that the recording was deeply organic, and highly technically difficult as far as playing the instrument goes. All these limitations were also a creative challenge, and tracing all the sounds and exploring all the possibilities that this Yamaha could offer turned out to be a tremendously entertaining and fun for Joe.
In terms of lyrics: “Disconnect” moves away from the romanticism of Joe Moore’s other projects, to embrace a certain cynicism and disillusionment with today’s society. It is not in vain that the title of the album takes us to Henry Alex Rubin’s magnificent movie. This is an album of songs about avoiding the world that surrounds us (“I want to pause the world in motion, and mute the chaos of this town”), about not being part of the trends that others follow on social networks, TV, or the radio, that world that is always rushing and full of lies and superficiality. The only sincere love song on the album is “Flicker”, which looks for signs of hope and the possibility of a better future. A handful of outstanding songs that broaden the author’s musical personality, and where all his musical influences converge; from NEW ORDER to THE MAGNETIC FIELDS, without leaving out LADYTRON, SAINT ETIENNE, and PET SHOP BOYS.
Joe Moore confirms what a fantastic pop – in all its forms and colors – architect he is on this 10”, green, 500-copy numbered limited-edition mini-LP. And we still have more surprises coming in the next months, in the shape of songs and new projects; his imagination is infinite and his love of music even more so. Are you ready?