Fischerspooner have such a manufactured image that you easily miss how much more powerful their music is when they are avoiding pretensions. With their third album, Entertainment, they succeed best whenever they are warming up their familiar electro sound with pop elements rather than aping worldly sophistication. You only have to listen to the Eric Adamo remix of Fischerspooner’s hit “Emerge,” which he mixes with Nirvana, to know what a little bit of nostalgia can do for electronic music.
Fischerspooner's woozy, percolating keyboard riffs and stylized camp theatrics were considerably more striking in 2001, when the group first emerged, than they are at the tail-end of a decade that's long since done the '80s-resuscitating synth-wave thing to death. Fischerspooner have been largely disregarded since the beleaguered electro-clash beachhead of their debut, despite (or perhaps because of) an entirely respectable sophomore effort, Odyssey, in 2005. But their pop-friendly brand of nu-electro has exerted such an influence on the sounds of the 2000s that this self-released third album, another four years down the line, winds up sounding unremarkably pedestrian (instead of, say, garishly dated, which is how it might have sounded ten years ago.
A fair number of the artists associated with the electroclash moniker meld new wave, hip-hop, and ambient and punk (usually vocals) elements. Le Tigre’s drum-machined rock-raps, for example, have riot grrl roots (and thus punk influences). The foul temptress Peaches’ electro base is mediated by rap and punk/rock (or on her latest release, even a vocal flirtation with soul).
It's been nine years since Larry Tee, the man who coined the term "electroclash," put on the first Electroclash festival. Rather than looking at how that scene died, it's interesting to see how many of those festival headliners-- Fisherspooner, Peaches, Ladytron, Scissor Sisters-- survived. (Not to mention that nobody sniffs at later electro-pop bands like Hot Chip, Justice, Crystal Castles, CSS, etc.) Maybe the key for the the duo behind Fisherspooner (composer Warren Fischer and singer/performer Casey Spooner) is that they don't consider themselves "dance musicians" in the conventional sense.