Hotspot: 1 year old today

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telys
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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#46 Post by telys »

Gabby wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:14 pm The two albums had a modus operandi which they both successfully accomplished - "Elysium" to sound "L.A." and "Hotspot" to sound "Berlin".

If you listen to these albums and are not transported to those places, I'd be astonished. (and for the record I have never been to either city myself, but that's the beauty of the songs Neil and Chris present on both albums - you don't need to have been).
Haven't been to LA so couldn't tell. Been to Berlin many times, lived there even for a while, and I can honestly tell you I get no Berlin feeling at all from Hotspot. Neil namedropping a few metro stations isn't enough. There's more London and even England than Berlin on the album. Dreamland, Hoping for a miracle, Burning the heather f i.
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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#47 Post by Gabby »

telys wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:56 pm
Gabby wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:14 pm The two albums had a modus operandi which they both successfully accomplished - "Elysium" to sound "L.A." and "Hotspot" to sound "Berlin".

If you listen to these albums and are not transported to those places, I'd be astonished. (and for the record I have never been to either city myself, but that's the beauty of the songs Neil and Chris present on both albums - you don't need to have been).
Haven't been to LA so couldn't tell. Been to Berlin many times, lived there even for a while, and I can honestly tell you I get no Berlin feeling at all from Hotspot. Neil namedropping a few metro stations isn't enough. There's more London and even England than Berlin on the album. Dreamland, Hoping for a miracle, Burning the heather f i.
Hmm, fair enough - I guess it's just a feeling I get in my imagination when I listen to it - I've visited Germany a few times (not Berlin) and do find Hotspot transports me back to those times. I find a lot of Please conjures images of London, UK, and not just because of the lyrics - it creates an atmosphere if you will.

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#48 Post by df118junkie »

Gabby wrote: Tue 26 Jan 2021, 12:47 am
telys wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:56 pm
Gabby wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 4:14 pm The two albums had a modus operandi which they both successfully accomplished - "Elysium" to sound "L.A." and "Hotspot" to sound "Berlin".

If you listen to these albums and are not transported to those places, I'd be astonished. (and for the record I have never been to either city myself, but that's the beauty of the songs Neil and Chris present on both albums - you don't need to have been).
Haven't been to LA so couldn't tell. Been to Berlin many times, lived there even for a while, and I can honestly tell you I get no Berlin feeling at all from Hotspot. Neil namedropping a few metro stations isn't enough. There's more London and even England than Berlin on the album. Dreamland, Hoping for a miracle, Burning the heather f i.
Hmm, fair enough - I guess it's just a feeling I get in my imagination when I listen to it - I've visited Germany a few times (not Berlin) and do find Hotspot transports me back to those times. I find a lot of Please conjures images of London, UK, and not just because of the lyrics - it creates an atmosphere if you will.
Hate to burst your bubble, but Elysium doesn't reflect LA at all (I've lived here for 27 years after leaving the UK). What it does reflect is a bland, homogenous production that permeates through a lot of middle of the road American music.

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#49 Post by vincenzosz »

df118junkie wrote: Tue 26 Jan 2021, 3:45 am
Gabby wrote: Tue 26 Jan 2021, 12:47 am
telys wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 9:56 pm
Haven't been to LA so couldn't tell. Been to Berlin many times, lived there even for a while, and I can honestly tell you I get no Berlin feeling at all from Hotspot. Neil namedropping a few metro stations isn't enough. There's more London and even England than Berlin on the album. Dreamland, Hoping for a miracle, Burning the heather f i.
Hmm, fair enough - I guess it's just a feeling I get in my imagination when I listen to it - I've visited Germany a few times (not Berlin) and do find Hotspot transports me back to those times. I find a lot of Please conjures images of London, UK, and not just because of the lyrics - it creates an atmosphere if you will.
Hate to burst your bubble, but Elysium doesn't reflect LA at all (I've lived here for 27 years after leaving the UK). What it does reflect is a bland, homogenous production that permeates through a lot of middle of the road American music.
I was thinking the same thing. I don’t live in LA but have visited many times and personally love it.
That was one of the biggest disappointments of that album. A chill pet shop boys with an LA vibe had the potential to be so amazing, and it even started out right with Leaving, but most of the album is incoherent. It should of sounded fresh, airy, with an edge.

Inside a dream TO ME is their most LA song and one of my personal favs.

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#50 Post by vincenzosz »

G_Goalden wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 2:00 pm I think that lyrically and musically it is right up there. For me the big fat elephant in the room is the 'eighties technology' that was used to record it.

It just sounds so 'muddy'.

I get why they wanted it sound like this - 'Berlin, Bowie, Hansa' - and as artists they are allowed to create it as the want. But it jars with me, especially when I grew up in the eighties listening to Please and Actually which both sound DDD compared to the AAA of Hotspot. (A reference for the 50 year olds there).

I wish they had just used an 80's filter over the top that could be removed, but it sounds as though the equipment and "synths' at the very heart of the album is reason it sounds like it does.

Am I the only person who thinks this as I have seen no reference elsewhere to the 'muddy-ness' of the sound?

That’s interesting. I personally love the album for that reason. The old distorted synths at the beginning of Happy people are just SO good. That’s the beauty of the sound they’ve created for this album, it’s unrefined and almost raw but it’s contrasted with this polish and intention in the meticulous production. Like each of their albums they tried something new, and I’m hoping they go this direction away from overproduced stuff and more towers richer simpler production. To me it harkens back to some of their older b-sides.

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#51 Post by canveyboy »

Disco. wrote: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 12:29 pm
Pod wrote: Sun 24 Jan 2021, 8:37 pm I played Hotspot last week for the first time since October - it’s still hit and miss for me. Some absolute gems like Happy People, Will o’ the wisp, easily listenable stuff like Monkey business and you are the one. Too many misses like Dreamland, only the dark and far and away the worst PSB album track ever - wedding in berlin. What were they thinking??
I’ll remember the hotspot era more for the b-sides. An open mind, decide, new boy and even at rock bottom are better than a few tracks recorded for the album.

Only the Dark: best track on Hotspot ! :D
Absolutely 100% agree! It’s a beautiful, melodic, 80s soundtrack classic!!! 😉
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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#52 Post by onzio »

df118junkie wrote: Tue 26 Jan 2021, 3:45 am Hate to burst your bubble, but Elysium doesn't reflect LA at all (I've lived here for 27 years after leaving the UK). What it does reflect is a bland, homogenous production that permeates through a lot of middle of the road American music.
When I first heard of an L.A. album back to those days, I don't know why, I expected a sort of electronic Hip Hop/Dubstep album.
Invisible as a teaser sounded as an electronic ballad that could fit my expectations.
So I have no L.A. vibe while listening to Elysium, probably because I don't know how L.A. sounds.

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#53 Post by CroMagnon »

I've always taken the 'LA sound' / 'Berlin sound' type of stuff with a pinch of salt. There's just something about the melodies, the chord progressions, and Neil's voice, which, no matter what their intentions, lead to all PSB songs sounding unmistakably 'them'.

I always get the sense, that, whatever their initial intentions when the recording process for a new album starts, their instincts kick in, softening the edges of whatever the 'manifesto' for an album was, usually for the better. Hence if you 'love' one PSB album, you're likely to at least 'enjoy' all PSB albums. It's part of their genius; always changing and exploring, and yet always unmistakably themselves.
Last edited by CroMagnon on Tue 26 Jan 2021, 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#54 Post by CroMagnon »

Duplicate post.
Love comes quickly, but is a catastrophe and a bourgeois construct etc.

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#55 Post by NikacP0kac »

Can't believe it's been a year.

I only remember listening to it first time on the bus from London to the Stansted airport, while catching a flight back home with my girlfriend. It was the last holiday I took - since then everything went to shi*s, but the album has remained a staple in my playlists - especially Will-o-the-wisp and the Dreamland B-side An Open Mind.

I think the album has "aged" very well, I like it more than I have at the time of release.
Have a look at my taste in music:
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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#56 Post by boyjohn »

It seems the Neil and Chris are so confident in their direction, that their demos end up sounding like the finished tracks. Maybe just for a change of pace they should just send a bare outline of things to a really hot producer and have them create the tracks however they want and then Neil could sing over them. Then release the who thing as a collaborative effort. Just to get away from their comfort zone.
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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#57 Post by markrobertnolan »

joe stalin wrote: Sun 24 Jan 2021, 10:10 pm I still have a massive problem with Hotspot and it’s simply down to ‘wedding in Berlin’. I’m guessing they thought it would be funny to include it, and those fans who aren’t in on the joke, well more fool them. Thing is... it’s trite, shite and so obviously rubbish, even if it’s supposed to be a joke. They should have left this track on the unreleased list, and included the full majesty of decide to close the album.

The rest of the album is ok, I’m not a fan of ‘you are the one’ but the greatness of ‘hoping for a miracle’ more than makes up for it.

I couldn’t agree more with you. I’m actually flabbergasted that many people think its the best of the Stuart trilogy. Electric AND Super were critically and commercially transformative and they were both played for 3 years at a time. Hotspot wasn’t played for more than a week and then i replaced both “You are the one” and “Wedding in Berlin” with “An Open mind” and “Decide” respectively, in the hope of saving it. It’s not really worked.... 😐

Luckily hotspot v2.0 came out shortly after and I play that far more often. Tend to listen to far more unofficial than official psb remixes of late but still I buy everything that is officially released. Just prefer the non official stream from blade, jcrx, Nathan jay and the others. We’ve been so lucky to have their releases to supplement the official issues

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#58 Post by markrobertnolan »

I couldn’t agree more with Jo Stalin, above. I’m actually flabbergasted that many people think Hotspot the best of the Stuart trilogy. Electric AND Super were critically and commercially transformative and they were both played for 3 years at a time. Hotspot wasn’t played for more than a week and then i replaced both “You are the one” and “Wedding in Berlin” with “An Open mind” and “Decide” respectively, in the hope of saving it. It’s not really worked.... It’s just messy. 😐

Luckily hotspot v2.0 came out shortly after and I play that far more often. Tend to listen to far more unofficial than official psb remixes of late but still I buy everything that is officially released. Just prefer the non official stream from blade, jcrx, Nathan jay and the others. We’ve been so lucky to have their releases to supplement the official issues

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#59 Post by oakey »

Have not listened to Hotpot too much recently, but am overall happy with the product, given that the world went into lockdown shortly after that but they were able to release physical singles. But I have to agree it’s the weakest album of the trilogy.

I visit Berlin regularly - well, before the covid pandemic that is - and also agree there is nothing Berlin about this sound. The one song title referencing Berlin (WIB) is one of the worst in their entire catalogue unfortunately. In the same league as Sound of the atom splitting, Hold on or Your early stuff.

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Re: Hotspot: 1 year old today

#60 Post by onzio »

CroMagnon wrote: Tue 26 Jan 2021, 3:12 pm I always get the sense, that, whatever their initial intentions when the recording process for a new album starts, their instincts kick in, softening the edges of whatever the 'manifesto' for an album was, usually for the better. Hence if you 'love' one PSB album, you're likely to at least 'enjoy' all PSB albums. It's part of their genius; always changing and exploring, and yet always unmistakably themselves.
I 100% agree with your analysis. I share your idea and thoughts, It's always been that way.
Take Release for example, I've always thought that it isn't really a rock album, is a sort of soft psb pop rock.
I think that LIAC deserved a heavy metal treatment, which is only suggested by the buried power chords near the end.
Too buried in the mix.
You want to use the guitars? Please use them!
Nightlife: only half of the album is a massive dance/trance thing.
Fundamental: the idea was a minimal electro album and so were the demos (S&GS, ILTR...) but in the end on the album we have only TC
Bilingual the latin album: only the first half.
The strong coherence of the first two albums, Please & Actually has never been repeated.
The list is infinite: the jungle thing is Betrayed. You can't dance to Betrayed! Is a sort of pop ballad with jungle beats.

It is not a complaint mine. I love the PSB sound. :mrgreen:



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