Lúlla – Icelandic for sleeping – is London based producer, Vern from Nude Disco, and Icelandic singer/songwriter, Heidrun Bjornsdottir.
Their debut mini album, Winter In The City, was released earlier this year, comprising of five new compositions and a cover version of ‘Only You’, originally a hit for Savage in 1984. Their shared love of retro European pop shines through the music, forged in Vern’s London Studio where they have a bank of vintage analogue and digital Synths at their disposal. The video for opening track, ‘Memories’, was shot on location in the Keilir region, near Bjornsdottir’s native Reykavik, and features her son Ralph.
“Our top 10 features our favourite Synth heavy tracks that have served to infuse, inspire and educate,” said the duo. Check it out.
1. Sally Shapiro – ‘He Keeps Me Alive’
“This cover version of Nixon’s ‘She Keeps Me Alive’ is exquisitely recreated by the recently defunked Swedish Italo pop outfit Sally Shapiro. A beautiful homage to what was already a gloriously melancholic love song.”
2. Johan Agebjorn – ‘Swimming Through The Blue Lagoon’
“One of our favourite producers, Jarre-esque beats with some gated trance-y vocals and beats from a Casio MT32. What more do you want?”
3. Bogdan Irkük – ‘I Was On’
“The peerless Bogdan Irkük released this timeless blissed out disco gem as part of the Rollerboys Epic Disco Vol 2 EP. Still haven’t got close to appreciating how good this record is.”
4. Depeche Mode – ‘Get The Balance Right’
“In this Depeche Mode classic, you can hear Martin Gore was starting to experiment a little more with digital synths, keeping their sound ahead of the game. Still a goose bumper.”
5. Laurie Anderson – ‘O Superman’
“This pioneering masterpiece was originally released on 7” Vinyl which ran at 33rpm. Adding to the already magical combination of sampled vocals and vocoders.”
6. College – ‘The Drone’
“Repetitive, relentless and emotive this College production never fails to deliver. Part of the Valerie Collective College got exposure when ‘A Real Hero’ was featured on the Drive Soundtrack.”
7. The Human League – ‘Empire State Human’
“Before the departure of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh (to form Heaven 17) the Human League were a little more rough and ready. ‘Empire State Human’ is a high tempo but totally on point example.”
8. Al Usher – ‘Lullaby For Robert (Bogdan Irkük Mix)’
“Weighing in at 8.42 this takes a bit of commitment to listen to but rewards you throughout. Remixed by the mysterious Bogdan Irkük who’s sporadic output always makes for essential listening.”
9. Soft Cell – ‘Memorabilia’
“David Ball knew his way round a synthesizer that’s for sure. As relevant today as it ever was.”
10. OMD – ‘Telegraph’
“We purchased a Yamaha CS01for the studio after seeing an ‘80s Top Of The Pops performance by OMD using one for the lead riff in ‘Telegraph’. At a chance meeting with Andy McCluskey (lead singer) he told me they’d never used any Yamaha Kit. But they did. Two of them in this video to be precise.”