Soma – 2005 - 55 minutes

Irish electronica tends to be wayward, arty and experimental. So it's refreshing to hear a band who are focused on slick dancefloor production values. Hystereo's debut album is released on estimable Scottish label Soma, home of Slam and Funk D'Void.

The first track, 'Opening Bell', is an electro cracker, building from a shimmering, slow start to a peak of driving urgency. Daft Punk's explorations of 1980s cheese have obviously rubbed off on the next tune, 'Deale', which perhaps owes a little too much to the Parisian duo's sci-fi symphonies.

The haunting melody of 'Opening Bell' returns on 'Validity Revision', this time teamed to a powerful fuzzed-up loop and high-pitched 303 sounds. Rock guitars crunch through 'Executive Memo', while 'Velocity' is a Martian's idea of easy listening lounge music.

'Corporate Crimewave' is an accomplished, extravagantly well-produced record. Unfortunately, the heavy influence of Daft Punk means that it's a little lacking in originality, but that's the only reason it falls short of being truly excellent. It's certainly better than Daft Punk's disappointing last release.

The band's image is great too – from the pinstripe album cover to the power-suited publicity shots. It's good to see an local act putting a bit of thought into presentation. When Hystereo branch out and define their own style they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Luke McManus

Tracklisting: Opening Bell – Deale - Validity Revision - Executive Memo – Velocity - Corporate Crimewave – Interweb - Let's Do It – Resistance – IPO – Futurelude - Winters in the City