The singer for Cult With No Name, Erik Stein, has the kind of smooth vocals and cowboy-movie good looks that get the girls in a tizzy.
Textbooks for Tomorrow pairs Stein with Jean-Marc Lederman, the Belgian composer who has played live with Fad Gadget and The The, had hits with The Weathermen, and worked in Front 242’s stock room. Like an alternative music Zelig, Lederman has appeared at critical junctures with his synthesisers and ear for a good tune for more than four decades.
The four-song EP combines a range of styles and themes. The title track incorporates modular and analogue electronics, which bubble and fizz under Stein’s vocals. “All That I Believe in Fails Me” combines warm, playful pop elements with a dark message. “My Wilhelm Voice” scrapes back the veil with nicotine-stained fingers for some trip-hop influenced noir. “Shifting Sands” moves into the drawing room for some piano accompaniment while Stein offers a lament.
Textbooks for Tomorrow is a fine work. Like those obscure records you find factory-sealed and overlooked in a record bin, there is a magic to be found by claiming it.