Monday, November 19, 2007

Daft Punk is Playing at My House

Three reasons why electronic music is not just a load of old noise.

Justice "The Cross"; Simian Mobile Disco "Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release"; Soulwax "Remixes"

Annoying, repetitive, chavvy. That's what I used to think of electronic music until someone recommended a new track she'd just downloaded. The song was by a bald man from Paris who called himself Vitalic and was called 'My Friend Dario'. It started with the noise of a person undoing a car door, slamming it, and followed with a rather creepy disembodied voice rhythmically chatting about a bloke who downs bottles of drink before he drives his 'super make of car'. At first, my initial reaction was one of confusion, but the more I listened to it the more I grew strangely intrigued. After the fifth listen, I was hooked. This was the start of my fascination with electronic music.

Three albums that have made an enormous impression this year are from three rather fantastic DJ ensembles. Belgian remixers and ex-indie kids Soulwax (Soulwax Remixes), the magnifique French duo Justice (The Cross) and last but by no means least, lunatic acid house revivalists Simian Mobile Disco (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release)

Very personally, Justice's The Cross reminded me exactly why you can fall in love with electronic music in the first place. Probably one of the most eagerly anticipated debut albums of all time, it's packed with gems such as the single 'D.A.N.C.E', and addictive disco-strings-and-bass laced anthem 'Dvno'. Whereas weaker tracks such as 'Phantom Pt.2' sometimes remind you of your little brother pissing about with a set of decks whilst gargling Listerine into a microphone, it still is a classic album. Whilst The Cross is a good choice for electro-virgins, Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release by Simian Mobile Disco is probably best left to hardened fans. Nonetheless, it's an interesting example of the new direction of dance music at the moment. It begins with absorbing, terrifying track 'Sleep Deprivation', which sets the tone for the rest of this brilliantly unapproachable album. Even so, there are a few gentler tracks such as 'Wooden', while 'Tits & Acid' should please the old-school-house crowd with it's squidgy bass and throbbing beats.

Finally, Soulwax's admirable remix album (with its title nothing less than an 104-word paragraph, so forgive me for rebranding it as such) is a cd-rack-essential for any self-respecting electro fan. Boasting two CDs, one mixed, one unmixed for your pleasure, it contains the very best of their B-side-mixes. Standout tracks include their exceptional remix of Klaxon's 'Gravity's Rainbow' and their unusual rework of Muse's 'Muscle Museum' (so weird it works) although I doubt any Ladytron fan will ever be able to forgive them for the foul mess that is their mix of Seventeen. If it ain't broke don't fix it, as they say.

Ten essential electro tracks to download:

1. Shit Disco: OK (Acid Girls Remx)
2. Justice: Dvno
3. Daft Punk: Technologic (Vitalic Remx)
4. Justice vs. Simian: Never Be Alone
5. SebastiAn: Ross Ross Ross
6. Simian Mobile Disco: Sleep Deprivation
7. Vitalic: La Rock 01
8. Mason: Exceeder
9. LCD Soundsystem: Daft Punk is Playing at My House
10. M.I.A: 10 Dollar

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might also like the Soulwax Shibuya mix of "Daft Punk is Playing at My House"