Parralox – Subculture


New tunes from Down Under

This year I had a very nice and spon­tani­ous meet­ing with John von Ahlen (Parralox) in his stu­dio in Melbourne dur­ing our vaca­tion in Australia. I had the chance of hav­ing a nice talk with this really sym­path­et­ic guy, and fur­ther­more he allowed me listen in on some of the new tracks on his album 'Subculture'. What I listened to in September so far was awe­some and prom­ising. Now I've got the promo for the upcom­ing new 'Parralox' album and I'm excited that my high expect­a­tions have even been excelled.

Subculture sounds more like pop culture

'Subculture' con­tains 14 songs with lots of fea­tured artists so the listen­er is kept caught by the sheer vari­ety of the album. Almost all tracks fit per­fectly in the clas­sic Synth Pop genre that I love so much. Everything is rep­res­en­ted: from the shal­low radio song to the bom­bast­ic dance floor hit to the highly emo­tion­al ballad.

The cream of the crop

I want to start with my favour­ite song on the album. This time it's a bit unusu­al for it is a bal­lad, that I really eno­joyed best: 'A Question Of Love'. The duet between John von Ahlen and Louise Love sounds magic­al. The song's lyr­ics touched me very much – it's about an end­lessly sad break-up. BTW. I wasn't able to decode the hid­den east­er egg in the track. If you have any idea just post it in the comments.

Dancing beats everywhere

Parralox - Electric Nights (Promo Photo)
Parralox – Electric Nights (Promo Photo)

'Electric Nights' is a power­ful and son­ic­ally illus­trat­ive Electro Pop song. This track is sung by Johanna Gervin and lives eas­ily up to an 80's  Kylie Minogue hit in qual­ity and catchi­ness. Very sim­il­ar is the fol­low­ing song 'Key To The Door Of Heaven', where Louise Love takes the singing part. The most strik­ing ele­ment in this song, how­ever, is the typ­ic­al 90´s Eurodance piano.

John him­self intones 'Change Of Heart'. This superb song reminds me strongly, and is best described as well, of the sound­scapes of the cur­rent Marsheaux album 'Ath.Lon'. Nevertheless, the song has the unique Parralox sound.

Sweet sadness continues

The song 'Jupiter' starts with echoes of women like out of a 70's sci-fi movie. The song spreads subtly and quietly in the first few seconds in a way that one expects a more ser­i­ous track. Lyrically sad­ness and long­ing drive the song for­ward. And this fits very well into the mood of the pre­vailed song 'A Question Of Love' I´ve already men­tioned before. I really love this song which embod­ies the feel­ing of end­less dark­ness between the stars.

Back in the up-tempo sector

Back onto the sad disco dance floor brings us the track 'Pressure Point'. Again this track is sung in wide parts by Louise Love, and on this point I need to state, I love her heav­enly voice. I'm very happy that she appears in almost 50 per­cent of all songs on 'Subculture'. 'Overdrive' is a bass gui­tar driv­en track, which again provides for a nice vary on the album. BTW: The bass gui­tar is played by Ian Burden (ex The Human League).

'Last Year At Marienbad' is a simple and fantas­ic Synth Pop song. The song struc­ture is a clas­sic man/woman duet. 'Last Man Standing' comes along pretty catchy as well. This track has defin­tely the ear worm factor! The songs 'Voyager II' and 'Rocket Science II' were already released last year on 'Holiday 15'. Here you´ll find remixed ver­sions of these ori­gin­als. In com­par­sion to them the remixes on 'Subculture' are a bit more Pop-like. I love the remix ver­sions just as much as the ori­gin­als. Both are grand Synth Pop songs that I can warmly recom­mend without hes­it­a­tion to every genre fan.

Live long and prosper

After what felt like a thou­sand EPs, Remix albums, Megamix albums, and oth­er spe­cials, I'm excited to finally hear a breath­tak­ing new Parralox album again. The album 'Subculture' is strong and fresh, with a touch of 80's nos­tal­gia. The album sounds unbe­liev­ably var­ied by the many guest vocal­ists. If John von Ahlen had sung 1 or 2 songs more him­self, I per­son­ally would have been even more euphor­ic. All in all 'Subculture' is a first class Synth / Electropop album that we strongly recom­mend to buy.

Personal note to John (from Trekkie to Trekkie): "I hope your 5‑year mis­sion through unknown sound land­scapes will con­tin­ue for sev­er­al dec­ades. Next stop: "70s Space Age meets 80s Synth Pop" concept album? Until then, live long and prosper. Yours, Tom and Vera."

Track By Track Rating

Parralox - Subculture
Parralox – Subculture
Paradise (Feat. Marcella Detroit)
Electric Nights (Feat. Johanna Gervin)
Key to the Door of Heaven (Feat. Louise Love)
Gimme Back My Lovin (Feat. Lillia)
Change Of Heart
A Question Of Love (Feat. Louise Love)
Jupiter (Feat. Louise Love)
Pressure Point (Feat. Louise Love)
Overdrive (Feat. Ian Burden)
Last Year At Marienbad (Feat. Louise Love)
Last Man Standing (Feat. Peter Wilson)
Voyager II (Feat. Louise Love)
Rocket Science II
86G (Feat A7‑H)
A Question Of Love
(Feat. Louise Love)
Electric Nights
(Feat. Johanna Gervin)
(Feat. Ian Burden)
(Nothing to report here)

Prelisten to 'Subculture' here:

More 'Parralox'

If you love Parralox as we do, don't miss the art­icle 'What is the best Parralox album ever?'.