- If you slept on Vol 1 of Viewlexx's Test Pilot compilation series don't feel too bad: it came out almost 20 years ago, and a repress timed to coincide with this second volume means you can grab it now anyway. Vol 2 begins with Panama Brown's "Theme From Panama Racing." A collaboration between Legowelt and I-F (the latter's first production in many years), it achieves a vivid atmosphere through a frenetic bass riff, nasal keys and rapid claps. It reminded me of those songs you tend to get on cold-wave compilations that shock you awake with their energy after several tracks of chilly indifference.
"Everybody" by Tandy Ogmo has its tongue firmly in its cheek. A boiling-down of pop-Italo to its nth degree, it locks into a synthy, hi-nrg groove, adds an endlessly repeating refrain—"Your body / My body / Everybody move your body"—and stays there. Eventually the whole thing trips out of time, tumbling over itself as it implodes and fades swiftly from view. It's a highly enjoyable piece of bubblegum, the sort Viewlexx boss I-F has always had a taste for. Roberto Auser's "The Force" starts off as mid-paced electro and evolves nicely, adding a touch of distortion here, a thickening of bass there. Gesloten Cirkel's "Asleep" is another standout on an essential collection. Its glimmering combination of gentle 303s, brittle drums and slowly weaving pads is a fitting wind-down.
A1 Panama Brown - Theme From Panama Racing
A2 Tandy Ogmo - Everybody
B1 Roberto Auser - The Force
B2 Gesloten Cirkel - Asleep