by Freq | 2017-04-14T00:38:05+00:000000000530201704 00:38
I didn’t ask for this, but it came anyway. I’d been a Fujiya and Miyagi sceptic: too accommodating, too precise, too Brighton. When the review list came out I wasn’t drawn to this because, although I’d read reviews of previous albums that seemed to ring Pavlov (cow)bells around this band (krautrock, electro, disco et al), what I’d heard seemed imitative and lacking blood. The signifier was present and correct but the signified was absent; lights on, no one at home…
But then this came and I put it on and something has changed. They’ve been going for the best part of twenty years and they are getting there. Like LCD Soundsystem, who never really got anything going until much later in life, it feels like something has settled and now the disco-tics and the slightly diffident vocals and the groove seems a real part of the band, rather than a flapping robot limb. This self-titled album starts with a pulse that could’ve been sucked from a Conny Plank vault, perhaps Harmonia, given a little shot of MDMA to make the spine tingle. From there, things get lighter and more immersive; there is joy in these bones and it keeps on giving. It cracks on, filling space and time; my five-year-old couldn’t help himself dancing and he’s only on the munkin-chops and sugar.At a gig or in a club (do they still have clubs?) this would get fingers snapping (even in Brighton, where no one dances at gigs anymore). This would have people nodding. There’s even, in “Extended Dance Mix”, a kind of grumbling, realist sigh which takes in, à la LCD and, perversely, Animal Collective, the kind of prosaic details that illuminate (or darken) our middle-aging days: weight-gain, sucked energy, acid indigestion… for a second it even reminded me of the under-appreciated mundane-surrealism of EMMplekz, a few bits could be Yello, quite a lot sounds like Patrick Cowley would have liked to get his paws on them. It works, and form follows function. This is a compliment, especially at a time when few records even try to do anything. There is ergon here. They want people to get up and shake (in the present political climate, too many people are sitting down and shaking), they want people to have a “45 minute escape” and they will. This put me in a good mood; I made some lovely sandwiches and danced the whole way through. The house is brighter now.
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