Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Record label: 50 Weapons
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
UK house producers Doc Daneeka and Benjamin Damage produced "Creeper" around this time last year for 50 Weapons, an eight-minute vehicle for sleek, aerodynamic riffage, an exercise in the supremacy of simplicity. Label heads Modeselektor apparently liked the single so much they commissioned a whole album from the duo and flew them out to Berlin to accomplish the task. The result is They! Live, a lean, confident long-player of stylishly minimal beats rendered in attractive curves and clear, soft tones.
On paper, Doc Daneeka and Benjamin Damage seem like such a perfect match that you'd expect any musical collaboration to mirror their work apart: Damage, with or without erstwhile partner Venom, has specialized in bouncy bass-driven house heavy on UK funky snares, while Doc Daneeka has peddled a slightly more rigorous but no less athletic take on precisely the same sound (check 2010's furrow-browed but undeniably huge remix of Breach's "Fatherless"). So it's surprising how subtle, sedate, and frankly unlike their former selves They!Live turns out to be; the transformation reminds me of raver friends who hooked up on a drug binge and then promptly moved out to the suburbs to grow vegetables together. There was a honeymoon moment where the partying trajectory carried through the first flush of romance: On their first single together, last year's aptly named "Creeper", Daneeka and Damage hit upon the best of all possible worlds, offering a throbbing bad dream of strobing, bleepy synth organ riffs over remorseless 4x4 kick drums, if not "Show Me Love" then maybe "Show Me Anxiety".