Nightshift magazine review of Octavia Freud's 2nd album, 'Smoke & mirrors' March 2020
"On the surface there seems to be a lot of love on Octavia Freud’s new album. In reality these ten tracks conjure up images closer to dimly lit basement S&M bars than soft-focus honeymoon scenes. Octavia Freud – the work of musician Martin Andrews – is part of a tiny but fertile local electronic music sub-scene alongside the likes of Tiger Mendoza, Means of Production and The Subtheory, all eschewing the modern, mangled lightweight incarnation of the term for darker, heavier, more austere electronic sounds. In Octavia Freud’s case the starting points are 70s synth pioneers Suicide: from the reverbed to-buggery vocals of the title track and the giddy yelps on ‘No Final Light’, to the almost rockabilly propulsion of ‘You Love to Watch’, Vega and Rev are Andrews’ touchstones. He’s at his best when he’s at his darkest: the bubbling, lo-fi minimal wave of ‘Photographs and the lysergic ‘Love Me Again’. Best of the lot is the sleek, dark ‘Safety in Numbers’. ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ is enjoyably low-rent synth-pop, inventive enough to rise above its production values to deliver its stark message: there is no love here, just the beating heart of the machine."
Nightshift magazine March 2020