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Camino del Sol

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Album Review

One of the lesser stars in the Factory Records universe, Antena were a mutant anomaly, a chance meeting of Jobim samba and Young Marble Giants electro-pop austerity. Camino del Sol collects every single and the lone EP of the same title that they would produce. Few heard them in the early '80s when they were around, partially because they were stuck in the wasteland of Factory Benelux, the Belgian little brother of the main Factory operation in Manchester that never had the sway of its elder. It probably didn't help that Young Marble Giants spinoff group Weekend and labelmates A Certain Ratio were plying a similar fusion of Latin rhythms and pop song structure, although neither produced an end result as intimate or insular as that of Antena. Isabella Antena's chanteuse-whisper vocals provide one of the clues to the group's uniqueness, as do the pencil-thin synth lines and genteel bossa nova drum machine patterns — both of which sound out of place among their contemporaries, with the exception of John Foxx, but have a revelatory quality in light of groups that have come since; think Smokey & Miho, Adult., Kahimi Karie, Arto Lindsay, even Beck. Added to the wonder of this rediscovery are great liner notes and a respectable package that harks back to Factory's heyday.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in France

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Destined to be overshadowed by their peers in the Factory Records universe, Antena were an underrated bossa nova-flavored electronic dream pop group that formed in France in the early '80s. Members Isabelle Powaga, Sylvain Fasy, and Pascale Moiroud created a sound not terribly out of place on the legendary label's catalog, but were overlooked due to the fact that their work emerged on Factory's Benelux label — essentially a Continent-based label meant to test songs and do advance work for larger...
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Camino del Sol, Antena
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