Thursday, May 21, 2009

Disco-lusioned?

Okay, first of all, I'm not going to make any real excuses for my absence. There were many contributing factors I guess, but the most succinct answer is that life got in the way, as it sometimes does (it can be quite fun, y'know, that life thing). Anyway, I'm sort of back now I guess. I won't be finishing my 2008 lists as it's a bit late now really, but if there's enough interest, I might just post the lists with links to mp3s or something.

Also, as Blogger have been taking posts down willy-nilly lately, I'm not bothering posting mp3s on posts for the time being, but as you're all resourceful people, you can probably track down what I'm talking about elsewhere. Right, on with the show...


Has the Balearic bubble burst? You'd certainly think so listening to II, Lindstrom & Prins Thomas' latest opus. Where their eponymous first album revitalised an oft-forgotten strain of disco, making slo-mo, Italo-leaning kosmische with soft-pop overtones fashionable in the process. Beards, kaftans and Jesus sandals were in all of a sudden and these two Norwegians were partly to blame.

While the debut had its flaws, it was a hell of a listen, sounding gorgeous, alien and propulsive, despite its laidback trappings. II isn't a radical departure - although there's a definitely more pronounced Krautrock vibe - but where Lindstrom & Prins Thomas was thrilling and unique in its own way, this comes over insipid, overly languid and boring by comparison.

It's not without its moments ('Note I Love You + 100' for instance, is as good as anything off their debut), it just feels so self-indulgent and too much like a xerox of what made them so intriguing in the first place. It's a shame really, as last year's Lindstrom solo album, Where You Go I Go Too is pretty much a masterpiece of perfectly modulated poise and dynamism and recently released non-album track 'Tirsdagsjam' is everything that most of II is not. It's understandable why it was left off the album, as it's basically a club track and essays that L&PT should stick to making eccentric dancefloor rockers rather than ornate aural wallpaper like the vast majority of II. A disappointing turn of events for arguably the two most talented producers in the microgenre.

Signs of ruder health for Balearica can be found elsewhere though, in two new full-lengths from the cosmic ghetto. Meanderthals is the new collaborative effort from Idjut Boys and Rune Lindbaek and their debut LP, Desire Lines is absolutely wonderful. A beardo's wet dream team-up, it pretty much surpasses anything Idjuts and Lindbaek have done in the past. Full of hooks and purpose, it never meanders - despite their chosen moniker - and always enthralls, especially the enterprising '1-800-288-Slam' and blissful closer 'Bugges Room'. Smalltown Supersound once again prove themselves one of the most reliable labels around.

Also well worth checking out is Le Suivant, Smith & Mudd's follow-up to the beautiful, languorous Blue River. Besting that record significantly, Le Suivant is, alongside Desire Lines, one of 2009's best LPs so far. Recent singles 'Wem' and 'The Delivery Man' are highlights but it's all great. Hearing is believing so I won't go on. Check it out on Claremont 56 from next week.

Meanwhile, at the more boisterous end of the disco spectrum, The Glimmers are only giving away another new album at their shows. This one is credited to their band project, The Disko Drunkards and it's, well, it's a bit rubbish. The Glimmers are clearly talented guys but the lazy, hacky post-punk disco shenanigans contained here grow pretty annoying pretty quickly. A Liquid Liquid rip-off here, a bogstandard approximation of LCD Soundsystem there, The Disko Drunkards album sure sounds like it was made under the influence of something or other, but unless you're pissed too, then I can't see it holding much enjoyment for anyone.

Much more successful is In Flagranti's new album, Brash & Vulgar. Every bit as crass and obnoxious as the title suggests it may be, but it's also a fucking blast. Careening, disorderly discoid jams are the order of the day and if you overlook the porny cover and ridiculous song titles, there's plenty to keep you interested. There's a case to be made for some of the tracks being a bit longer (In Flagranti are the most attention deficient of the nu-disco camp) but it never outstays its welcome and, like I said, it's an absolute riot.

Back soon, honest.

JMx

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Pat Mac Mellow said...

I, for one, really enjoyed the round-up of last year's tunes and thought highly of it. Would be great to see the choices and links if nothing else

Pat

UTC

8:02 pm  
Blogger Aditya Ikhsan Prasiddha said...

yes, man. your year-end lists are the most interesting in the blog world because it contains mp3's. so please at least post the rest of the list with only mp3's :)

5:44 am  
Anonymous Alexander said...

I agree with the other commenters. The Yer Mam year-end lists have been top-notch, far more reliable than Pitchfork, and much better written too. I'd love to know your rankings for 2008.

9:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone spotted Manchesters Blue Hoodies how cool take a look at the vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXaAqgO-igA&feature=related

4:14 pm  

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