The Wicker Man
Alien Skin Single release.
Written and produced by G Pappas for Alien Skin
Alien Skin 2018. All Rights Reserved
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JAMSPHERE MAGAZINE “…so what does “The Wicker Man” tells us about George Pappas aka Alien Skin? Practically nothing new, and that’s the great news! What it does, is confirm, from my personal point of view, that Alien Skin, alongside Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and Orchestral Maneuvers in The Dark – though stylistically different between them – are the only pioneers still able to make relevant, authentically sounding synth-music.
It is what I used to, and still call, electronic music with soul. It has absolutely nothing to do with the sample-based, groove box electronics currently all the rage. Not that there is anything wrong with the new stuff, it’s just a different beast that delivers different levels of enjoyment. It’s the same difference of enjoyment I perceive between a vinyl recording and digital download from iTunes.
If anything “The Wicker Man” proves that Alien Skin has musically aged better than most if not all of the musicians of his generation proving that he was a modern prophet, and remains as such when it comes to synth based music.
Pappas’ voice is almost used like an instrument, as his vocal style shifts to suit what is needed by the song. What’s surprising to me is how warm the sound is – the timbre is comforting while the lyrics issue a series of warnings to the listener.
The gentle but insistent, atmospheric backing-track, floats by, confirming images of a dark expanse of space, with plenty of room for the vocals to wave their melodic way through the song. Even though there’s space and dynamics to the instrumentation, there’s haunting tension and a great sense of scope.
In a perfect world this track would sit amongst many year-end polls. The grand theme and sound deserve to be soaked up by as many people as possible. “The Wicker Man” offers up a great song and motif that will pay you back with repeated lessons.
It’s a track that certainly lends itself to persuading you to immerse yourself and explore other songs by Alien Skin. “The Wicker Man” takes what George Pappas aka Alien Skin has been steadily doing for much more than a while now, and reinvents it, boosts it, increasing its vibrancy and electronic power, and then bringing it into the expanse of the modern music landscape.”