It may not be the most anticipated album of the year, but it's surely the coolest.
Lou Thomas 2009-06-29
On LP ( a great name for an album) Vampire Weekend keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot singer Wes Miles have teamed up to produce a predictably urbane but unexpectedly electro record. It may not be the most anticipated album of the year, but this New York state indie collaboration is surely the coolest.
Too often side projects wilt pitifully under the glare of fan pressure but this project has a head start on two prescient counts. Most poignantly, there is a fantastic cover of The Jackson 5's I Want You Back, recorded way before their most famous member died. This version has an industrial electro throb reminiscent of Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak album and featherlight synth flourishes to accompany Miles' take on the familiar vocal.
Use of Auto-Tune is also a hot topic and one that Discovery tackle head-on across the album. Jay-Z may have removed all trace of the audio processor from his forthcoming The Blueprint 3 and recorded a track entitled DOA (Death Of Auto-Tune) but these fellow NYC residents certainly haven't.
Can You Discover? a slowed-down reversion of Ra Ra Riots Can You Tell?, combines the familiar vocal effect with a minimal beat with jaunty, pulsing synths. It's the soundtrack to Akon and Lil Wayne pretending to be pirates at the yacht club.
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend is even odder. Dirty Projectors' singer Angel Deradoorian and Miles croon like Nelly Furtado and a simpering lovelorn fool over Timbaland beats and Aphex Twin avant P-funk noise.
Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig turns up for his own bout of Auto-Tune and distressed drum machine fun on Carby, a track which best sums up the album.
It's fun, odd, full of great melodies, slightly euphoric, brilliantly, if strangely, produced and as pleasingly different as Steve Mason of The Beta Band's Black Affair project from 2008.
Both albums were the work of talented men keen to show they could unleash engaging electro on their fans, but where Mason made a eerie stomp into the dark, Discover delight with iridescent summer cheer.