Updated: Dec 31, 2020
by Az Sandhu
Hailing from NYC and London respectively, multi-instrumentalist vocalists/producers Roma and Suzie met in the dark caverns of the internet. United by their previous experiences in the US and European alternative music scenes and a shared love of electronic music, Basic Television was born. Jason Crawford swiftly completed the line-up, bringing his extensive experience as a drummer in the NYC hardcore scene and his ethereal electronic production chops to the mix. 'ONE', was produced and written on laptops in a grimy Brooklyn studio during one sweltering New York summer, and mastered in the UK by Tim Turan (Marilyn Manson, Gary Numan, Cypress Hill). On lockdown in the midst of a global pandemic, the trio have no shortage of inspiration for new material – an unforeseen reality ushering in the beginnings of something new...
Back when we could, there was a spot down in Islington for those who sought a club experience with a darker edge. I only went there once but it was a memorable night of embracing the dark side, where punters were turned away if they didn't wear enough black and where the music was a blend of goth and industrial techno. The dance floor was sweaty and no-one did the small box big box moves but there was dancing albeit like nothing I had seen before, for those who know, that night needs no introduction.
I was suddenly transported back to that night when Basic Television sent in their debut "One" for review.
The three track debut starts with "Solia" a steady, rhythmic, dark pop ballad packed with deep synths and eerie backing vocals giving it a distinctly haunting feeling.
"Creeper" blends some of the sequenced filtered 808 synths and some trance synths too. The chorus introduces an expansive warbling bass into the tune. It could quite easily be a full on trance track but the only thing that really stops it dropping into that territory is the drum beat. Despite a "four to the floor" kick, he holds off on a snare hit creating an alternative feel. The pop influence is definitely on show here in the vocals.
Out of the three tracks "Fade" is the most catchy tune, with a more upbeat tempo, pulsating synths and that signature haunting backing vocal that seems to appear in all of their tracks and cements a distinctive style.
"One" has darkness with a pop successfully, managing to create a distinctive style and sound.