Office Party: Album Reviews 26.9.14
Right then! We're a bit slack on the ole album reviews round these parts.
Anyway, the album's dead!
Hold on a second there though Mr high and mighty R$N, you may think that but there's a still a shed load being released each week.
So as we all sit in the office staring at these screens, chowing down on the latest um cha, um cha we've decided we should address some of the 'larger' releases of recent weeks via the medium of a few words from each of those who care to contribute each week.
Think we've got it wrong? By all means sling us abuse in the comments below…
Caribou – Our Love
After my original disappointment of discovering that this album wasn't in fact written by a reindeer, or in fact one of the several other animals classified as caribou around the world, I decided to enjoy the chilled out, soothing sounds while looking up some interesting information on the mighty caribou. Did you know that caribou are the only deer in which male and females both have antlers – though only some females have them. Also, they have one calf each year, which can stand after only a few minutes and move on with its mother by the next day. Fascinating stuff.
I’m torn on this album. It opens up with a track that sounds like mood music for motivational speakers and it made me feel like I COULD be the change I want to see in the world. Then it slumped into this dodgy sub-Cafe Del Mar territory that made me think of weedy Caribou getting sand kicked in their face by strapping EDM bros. I never thought I’d side with the Bro’s tbh.
Personally, I’m a fan of the tune that rips off Inner City – everyone knows that all the good house melodies were taken by 1992. Still, Saunderson is probably reaching for his lawyers number.
Outside of that, the songs where Snaith goes in on moodier synthy territory work well – I’d like to hear him make an entire album of slower synth-pop numbers – the last couple of tracks are excellent – and he could leave the dodgy house out completely. As Wil has said, the attempt at a wonky ‘big room’ record, Second Chance is a stinker – it sounds like it’s been warped by the steaming heat of its own shitness.
This is an album that’s been served by modern technology – seeing as there’s no need to download the crap bits, you can get yourself a sweet Caribou extended play and pretend the more dubious tracks never happened.
Hype, hype… and more hype. To be fair it’s pretty justified most of the way apart from the absolute stinker that is Second Chance… don’t even give it a first chance mate. See what I did there?
Our Love = no getting away from the fact it’s Inner City… plain and simple… but with some rather sexy ‘contemporary bass’ sounds. Sounds well lush live tho.
I’m with Ian that this album befits the cut & paste culture we’re in. Chop out the fillers and you’ve got a cracking extended EP.
Sebastian Mullaert(minilogue) & Eitan Reiter – Reflections of Nothingness
I was a little worried that I'd somehow ended up back on my morning commute when I heard the beating sounds that reminded me of train tracks, swiftly removing any thoughts of probably offensive muller corner puns – thankfully.
Once it mellowed up I felt considerably safer, though there was a brief concern that I might be drowning in the bath I was pleased to realise that my rubber ducky was not nearby which swiftly unravelled that theory. After an intense beginning I found myself drifting off to sleep and missing everything after track 2, I hear there was talk of a beat somewhere.
Now, let me tell you a bit more about the mighty caribou…
The sound of someone trying out one classic synth per song. I can’t help but think they’ve just put on a preset and left it playing for the duration of each track, so there’s 7 minutes of a Juno 6 arping away prettily, then a track that’s made of a 303 murking away like a basement dwelling troll with a mouthful of goat. To be fair, they’re onto something, cos all the tracks sounds quite good. Reflections of Nothingness is probably the aptest title I’ve heard for a while though. Not very hummable, but nice enough.
I’m all for anything that takes me back to taking acid as the sun comes up in pokey little flats back in the West country watching paint dry. I’m also all for music for airports… I picture walking through a deserted Tempelhof airport’s chasmic halls with this playing.
The womb-like heartbeat of Dance of Roots changes it all up a bit whilst Hawtin's Sheet One era creeps in on Ash Layla then back into the airport to round things off.
Personally, I'm a fan and fuck the both of you.
The Juan Maclean – In A Dream – DFA
I'm not entirely sure what's going on but I'm actually enjoying this. Since when did the cruel mistress of electronic music hold any sway over me? Back away foul temptress, BACK AWAY!
Actually, not such a surprise that I'm really digging this as there are plenty of 80s sounds to keep me happy. First couple of tracks were absolute beauts and the standard has been pretty consistently high. Plenty to get excited about on here, always got time for something with a bit more to the bassline.
I don't care if he did sell out doing those Bounty/Plenty adverts, Juan Maclean really is plenty. Oh, hang on…
Alright. It’s constantly striving to write a song as good as anything Cindy Lauper bought out, and never quite getting there. I reckon the first Tiffany album is probably better as well. I dunno, I don’t hate it, but I’m tiring of 80s/90s pastiches when there’s so much music that came out at the time that I still don’t know – plus there’s a big difference between stuff that’s inspired by looking forward and stuff that’s inspired by looking back. I feel like I’m being a bit harsh. Ummm. The basslines are good?
Is that Hooky on Love Stops Here? Least he’s got back on the bass and stopped passing off DJing as playing mix CDs in overpriced bars in Hong Kong… hang on, is that actually Hooky?
Juan Maclean does what he does very well… but there’s no stone cold killers on there from like on previous albums. I want to like this more than I do. Sorry Juan! (Is that your real name?) I actually think you're a great producer.
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