Alien Skin is 80s mode analogue darkwave-synthpop from underground Australia.
George Pappas, performing as Alien Skin, is a former member of Real Life. The Australian synthesizer band topped 1984 charts with their million seller, Send Me An Angel.
Founded upon the electronic movement that grew out of British post-punk, Alien Skin music centres on a love of songs, melody, atmosphere, emotion and synthesizers. His work is inspired by classic Depeche Mode, OMD, John Foxx, The Legendary Pink Dots, Yazoo, Fad Gadget… quirky, atmospheric, melodic, on the fringe yet accessible.
Following his final US tour with Real Life in 2004 he released the Alien Skin debut album, Don’t Open Till Doomsday. This release found favour at the time with a vast MySpace audience of synthpop and darkwave fans, especially of 80s Depeche Mode persuasion. Polish magazine, AlterNation, at the time wrote of the album, “the artist offers the listener a 45 minute trance-like journey. His invitation to participate in it is especially aimed at people who live on the edge like melancholics and outsiders”.
As a fan and exponent of early 80s synthesizer pop, Alien Skin continues to champion the electronic aesthetic of that era. His early slower tempo’d songs awash with brooding atmosphere have evolved over recent years into uptempo, quirky slices of early 80s inspiration. But melody and dark ambience remain prominent.
Europe’s leading electro music magazine, Side-Line, commenting on the recent ‘New Romance: 1984’ album testifies, “it doesn’t take long to notice the true 80s spirit supporting this album. This is pure old-school Electro-Pop featuring magic melody lines emerging from analogue machines. Sounds like pure nostalgia, reminding me of a great time when I was a teenager enjoying life and dark music”
From same magazine, upon reviewing the previous album P.O.P. POP, “if you think electro-pop has been stagnating for too many years, Alien Skin will come as a real relief.”
Of the current album Cold War Pop Jamsphere magazine comments “choruses such as those in the opening tracks ‘Cold War Pop’ and ‘My Machine’ flawlessly showcase Alien Skin’s ability to marry both melody and power without neither forfeiting for the other”.
Alien Skin currently releases music, with a strong European and US following, through electronic label, ScentAir Records, Moscow.
“Real Life (left to right) George Pappas, David Sterry, Allan Johnson, Danny Simcic.
Asked where Alien Skin fits within the general electronic genre, after his years as keyboardist and co-writer in Real Life, he replied~
“I’m forever asking people, asking myself even, where does Alien Skin fit in? I really don’t know. At times what I do connects with the Depeche crowd, other times the underground dance crowd, the electronic ballad singer crowd ala David Sylvian, the late 70s post-punkers, the Numanites, the new romantics, the grim goth lovers – Grave Concerns magazine referred to my album, The Unquiet Grave, as ‘goth with the rock bled out of it’. I’ve even been tagged experimental.”
“I don’t wish to confuse people, to me it’s simple…I write synth-pop, darkwave, call it what you wish music, with recognizable song structures, melody and brooding, sometimes gothic, sometimes direct and simple with dark emotive atmosphere; it’s what first attracted me to the genre in its heyday. After 40 plus years working at it, I’m still making it up as I go!”
[Alien Skin has released 12 CD studio albums. Current 2021 release is ‘COLD WAR POP”.]