PET has the distinguishing feature of being one of the most ungoogleable bands on earth: “You’’ll get lap dogs, plastics, or the Pet Shop Boys,” say Andre Abshagen and Monika Martin, founders of the electro-pop group from Berlin, as they share a laugh, “whereas the futuristic design of the Commodore Pet computer was what we were referring to when we started out in 2004.” The band name is also an homage to the revolutionary computer generated sounds of early arcade games such as Pac Man and Space invaders, which heavily inspired the early PET sound.
PET’s previous two LP releases Player One Ready (2004) and Rewind The Sofa Lady (2006), generated a lot of excitement, especially in the UK music scene: Several singles made it onto the playlists of BBC 1, BBC 6Music, and XFM, as well as recording two radio sessions in London’s XFM studio. No less than the legendary John Peel played their first single No Yes No as the opening song for one of his last ever shows. The song’s elaborate video, directed by Stuart Gosling, was nominated for the coveted Music Vision Award that year, alongside videos from Goldfrapp, Kylie and Pink. The british songwriter Fink bestowed a great honour upon PET by covering their song Cloud Nine (Get Your Share) onhis laudedLP Distance and Time, while across the Channel, the prominent german duo 2raumwohnungapproached the band to do a remix of their track Wolken ziehen vorbei.
Andre’s and Monika’s journey through the expanse of the pop universe continues with Imitation of Life, PET's third album. They are joined by their band and touring mates Dodo NKishi, Eric Voss, Stefania Vacca and newcomer Julie Miess.Typical to PET’s previous releases, the LP features songs in the spirit of bands like Roxy Music, Blondie, XTC and The Buzzcocks, with that air of glamour and sophistication mixed with the drive and subversion of punk. PET’s Imitation of Life expands on this with themes reminiscent of hypnotic Krautrock, psychedelic guitars, and electronic sounds, all blending into a captivating maelstrom the sum of which is greater than its parts. The album was produced entirely under the direction of Andre Abshagen in PET’s new Berlin studio. ”We added a lot more acoustic elements on this album, while keeping the synths and electric guitars that are typical of PET’s sound,” says Andre, “even though the arrangements are complex, the end results sound simple and lighthearted.”