Review: Les Techno “What Ever Happened to Les Techno?”

This is Les Techno.

I am pretty sure that is not his real name. It is the kind of pseudonym granted to oneself because you are a) extremely original and cannot be represented by just any old mundane title… or b) you a have a day job, but really wish that musician thing would’ve ‘happened’ along the way, so on your down time, get together with your other buds, who also have day jobs, and make some not offensive music that steps into familiar influences without ever treading near anything unexpected.

Les Techno most likely falls into category b. That doesn’t make the music any ‘les’ valid… ok, that was terrible, but accurate.

All music reviews need a point of reference. For this artist, the entire 1980’s should suffice. The innocent, made for a John Hughes movie indie-pop-synth rock that actually made The Psychedelic Furs a relevant band for a moment and allowed Simple Minds to somehow connect with dissatisfied romantic teens.

Remarkably, in addition to all vocals and backing singing, Les Techno provides all the Bass, Drums, Moog Synthesizer, acoustic and electric guitar.

The vision is one man’s, fully realized in an EP called, “What Ever Happened To Les Techno?”

Since all you post ironic hipsters have taken the art of sarcasm to such extremes, now design made intentionally bad, is somehow cool. Or not. Or is it just shit design? Can’t tell anymore, can you? My instincts say that cover art is the product of a slightly autistic 2nd grader learning how to design in Microsoft Word, pleased that he figured out how to turn the font purple. Even in the terms of, ‘It’s supposed to look crappy… because I just don’t care… get it? I’m free wheelin’ man… I’m not hung up on the corporatist bullshit of expectation, man…’ , this is a sad cover.

Why make such an obvious point? Because the music is better than the cover.

If it looks like you put all of 15 minutes into design, (and 10 of them were figuring out the tutorial)… it gives the impression you might not have spent much time on the music either. Who would put their heart and soul into their music… arrange it, play every instrument, hone the vibe, get it right behind a solid recording… then wrap it a blurry font covered dog turd?

Les Techno would, that’s who.

Now… I’ve got you at least a bit curious.

It’s obvious by the overwhelming lack of press photos of Les Techno that he would rather the focus be on the music, not the artist. This is fully realized in the editing nightmare that is ‘Trophy Wife’, the opening track of the EP. The subject matter and title being fairly obvious by the content of the video… and made all the more topical by today’s political landscape.

Missing the window to be included in some timeless 80’s film by a few decades, ‘Who Do You Believe’ should remind you of some radio hits if you were alive when Reagan was president. Despite the derivative nature, it’s smooth and qualifies as a solid hit in that generation’s pocket.

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In Les Techno’s more moody moments, Bowie-like croons darken the landscape as haunting backing vocals lend texture and melodic support, as evidenced in ‘Soul of the Machine’. While not immediately commanding, repeated listens reveal a solid songwriter following musical paths well worn before him.

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A bit of Smiths and other shoe gazer brit pop of the 80’s shines through ‘Old House’, complete with jangly guitars, drenched in reverb and echo to give that spacey, psychedelic undertone beneath the insisting vocal lines.

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The EP is rounded out with a remixing of the ‘Who Do You Believe’ track. Interesting, but not necessary.

If anyone is writing a movie with an 80’s backdrop, specifically something with that boy / girl – comedy/tragedy/redemption emotional twist, check Les Techno. I think he might have attended Shermer High School… Shermer, Il… 60062.

Les Techno claims New York as his home turf nowadays. I’m not sure how this would make it out live, as Les Techno is a one man act. For now, an EP, some social media, and a heart for the 80’s are the only avenues to Les Techno.

Follow him here: Les Techno Facebook