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This week, dance of the dead.With dance music having lost some of its evolutionary forward motion over the past couple of years, producers have been plundering the dancefloor-shaking sounds of the past in an attempt to push the genre onwards. Hip-house, acid and new beat (youngsters – ask your granddad) have all had their corpses exhumed by musical Dr Frankensteins looking to create a fresh new kind of boogie. One of the most successful genre reanimations has been that of Italo disco - a rippling, synthetic European angle on disco that took its cue from Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Revivalists, Padded Cell, have taken the Italo sound and injected it with a healthy dose of dub swagger, and the result is Signal Failure (Depth Charge), one of the year’s most hedonistically heady dance tunes. Let it not pass you by.
Another olde worlde groove that’s swung back into favour in recent is years is electro. If that conjures up images in your head of 80s yoofs doing the electric robo-wizard boogaloo on off-cuts of lino in a rainy shopping precinct, then prepare to have your perceptions updated by Transparent Sound, whose Voyeur’s Choice (Exceptional) takes the robot dance-inducing sound of yore and drags it poppin’ and lockin’ into the 21st Century.
Hip-hop fans are well served this week, with two certified – ahem – “bangers” hitting the shelves. First up is Aasim’s superb Hip-Hop 101 (All City), a no-messin’ slice of early-90s-style boom-bap that sounds extremely satisfying and chunky next to the flimsy ringtone rap that dominates the charts these days. Secondly, for more leftfield tastes, we have tipped futurists Sa-Ra with the sublimely spacey Second Time Around (Studio Distribution) – imagine The Neptunes getting out of the bath too quickly and coming over all dazed.
For the guitar contingent we have peerless Canadian art-rockers Arcade Fire with the dizzying choral majesty of Wake Up (Rough Trade), the fourth single to be plucked from their fearlessly ambitious album, Funeral. If you haven’t given Arcade Fire a few moments of your time yet you really ought to, at your earliest convenience. Less emotionally resonant, but no less rousing, is Towers Of London’s superbly titled How Rude She Was (TVT), a textbook example of modern, grotty punk rock.
And as for free downloads this week, if you pop over to the website of Exceptional Records – home to the aforementioned Transparent Sound – you can grab the electro-dub wonder that is Cane 141’s Philly Up, Let’s Go for absolutely nothing. Which is marvellous news.
All singles are released on 14 November 05.
Read members' comments related to this music.
comment by londoner Nov 15, 2005i take it all back... i meant Richard Sen (bronx dogs), and you're right, it is kinda disco-y; i've been listening to the punk-funk b-side which is even better!!
comment by londoner Nov 11, 2005...on highlighting the padded cell track, it really is a stormer. not sure if i'd describe it as italio-disco inspired, i see it more in the chicken lips punk-funk-electro-disco style. I think actually it's the work of chicken lips under a different name.
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