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Luke Tangerine – “I Adore You” ~ Frankfurt's Retro-wave wizard experiments with Vocal Pop!

Frankfurt-based ‘aural innovator’ Luke Tangerine returns, hot off the release of his album Interstellar Radio, with the single I Adore You,” featuring vocals by Carlos Ucedda. The electronic music wizard continues to display his fine-tuned sense of melody and rhythm on this new song, expanding on the sonic palette he so deftly wielded across the aforementioned LP.

Unlike Interstellar Radio, “I Adore You” features a vocalist – Carlos Ucedda. Ucedda’s vocals – soulfully performed and thickly layered, add an emotional dimension to Luke Tangerine’s sometimes too-pristine instrumental arrangements. The vocal line, while somewhat buried in the mix, nonetheless comes through in the chorus, repeating the titular lyric with a tangible depth of emotion. Although the vocals are, in my opinion, somewhat underproduced (a little tuning goes a long way), they stick out in an interesting way and grab your ear. Reservations aside, the song was stuck in my head for a solid half hour after I heard it.

Like much of Luke Tangerine’s work, the meat is in the instrumentals. His fusion of retro synth sounds and modern production techniques sets “I Adore You” somewhere in between the realm of nostalgia and futuristic optimism. This is a producer with a definitive command of melody, harmony, and rhythm. While the lyrics provided by Ucedda are unintelligible at times owing to the mix, the texture of his voice nonetheless lends the track the aforementioned emotional dimensionality it might otherwise lack.

Worthy of particular note is Luke Tangerine’s distinctive ability to accent moments across the song with percussion fills, synth melodies, and production tricks that augment the generally 1980s-inspired retro wave/techno vibe of the song. I first heard this all over Interstellar Radio and it thoroughly impressed me – few producers have that kind of sensibility, more common in classical music than pop.

I worry a little bit if I'm honest, that despite being presented as a ‘radio edit,’ the shortcomings in vocal production might hamper this song’s prospects as a genuine hit – which is a shame because from what I’ve heard of Luke Tangerine’s work so far, he clearly has the sauce. Lush synth landscapes and rhythmic vitality are the name of the game for this acolyte of the great German tradition of electronic music, and it would be a shame to see something as simple as a production oversight hamper his progress.

I sincerely hope to hear more from Luke Tangerine. His music, overall, is great background music for focusing on work or study and deserves its place in any retro-wave or synth-wave-oriented playlist. And I’m excited to hear him work with more vocalists. He knows how to weave his production around a vocal line – he (or his mix engineer) just needs to work on bringing said vocals more to the front.

Listen to "I Adore You" on Spotify here -

You can check out Luke Tangerine’s website here:

A brilliant addition to the repertoire -

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