Redroom opens the album and it’s a slightly chilled downtempo affair with vocalist Vassy showing influences from Moloko’s Rosin Murphy as she meows and yowls her lyrics. Beat-wise, Ubin give the track a jazzy swing feel with a distinct shuffle to it and a good use of trumpet samples to accentuate the jazz feel.
The first of the tracks with the cutesy sounding titles, Pushy-Lu has a nice Kosheen feel to it – soulful vocals sitting on top of mellow breaks. Upping the tempo even more is Supastar - an excursion into 80’s style electropop rock. Happy synth arrangements and synthetic guitars accompany Jo on vocals who sounds like he’s singing through a CB radio. Continuing on the 80’s vibe is Somewhere Dude which moves things from the stage to the disco.
UBin have had the pleasure of being able to play gigs in Japan and the influences clearly shows on Suzi-Su which has it’s leanings towards J-pop. High pitched girly vocals courtesy of Nash, with ubin proving the manic arpeggios and synthesizer craziness in the background. From there they travel to South America on Biseaux - a latin inspired lounge piece featuring a nice keyboard solo on a mellow samba-esque beat. Pipu sees them returning to this towards the end of the album.
It seems that uBin have even found inspiration in French producers like Daft Punk and Etienne De Crecy as shown on Electriclove - quirky melodies, filtered sweeps and vocodered vocals backed up by funky basslines. The basslines don’t stop there either, with hard slap bass licks in the vein of 80’s pop group Cameo appear on the uptempo Peep. It’s on a breakbeat tip that sounds like a fusion between 80’s electro mixed with the frantically scattered beats of Squarepusher.
Summer is definitely the time to sit back and relax and the laidback beats on Summertime help listeners to do just that. Summertime leans toward more alternative singer/songwriter acts like Pete Murray and even Alex Lloyd to some extent. In This World loses the beats completely and concentrates on a dreamy melody accompanied by a solo male vocal enough to lull even the most alert heads to bed… it’s really a tease though as uBin hit eardrums using guitars and drums with brutal force. Closing off the album is the title track featuring the vocals of Tash who sang on Pushy-Lu and Electriclove. Star-Lo feels just like the closing theme to a film – dramatic and powerful in a sense.
UBin’s Star-Lo is an album that flows like an album moving from downtempo laidback vibes moving to uptempo grooves. From chill out, to disco, to new wave, j-pop and many other styles, uBin have shown they’re about as eclectic as The Avalanches and Gerling putting a distinct electronic flavour to their music. It’s taken them 4 years to release “Star-Lo” but results prove that it’s worth the wait.