Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Release Date: 9/3/2012
A textbook electro album, and not always in a good way
If there are two men who understand how to impose a late '80s/ early '90s House revival better than most, it's probably Vincent Clarke and Martin Gore, both of whom having earned their place in the fame game via Depeche Mode. Although not necessarily experts in the production of the House music sound, having lived through the time they're replicating, and with decades of synth worship behind them, one would expect them to be well- versed.
Unfortunately, they don't always come off that way on "SSSS". It suffers slightly from a lack of something imperative to making dance music interesting these days- artistic vision. Nevertheless, there are bouts of originality. "Bendy Bass" hits the mark with deep production, a quite literally bendy bass line and spiky but stargazing lead melody. In a contradictory manner, some of the record's most deliriously funky moments are its least original. "Single Blip" is nearly cringe- inducingly cheesy but is a fantastically funky exercise in bleepery, whilst "Recycle", with it's flashes of thick euphoria and grinding undertow is the most potent floor filler here. "Flux" has chilled- out vibes and an endearingly pretty melody, making it a fitting closer.
The issue with "SSSS" is that it's consistently hard to attach emotions, atmospheres or characters to these songs, as the approach is largely formulaic. Consequently it leads to them frequently coming off as dull. However, there is a throwback revival going on, and VCMG, as well as a handful of the tracks here, deserve to be a staple part of it.
Download: 1) Recycle, 2) Bendy Bass, 3) Single Blip
For Fans Of: Azari & III, Orbital, Hot Chip