Release Date: Jun 24, 2008
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Dance, Electronic
When Walter Benjamin composed his landmark Theses on the Philosophy of History, the intended audience for his critiques of the ills of conventional historicism were historians, naturally, and politicians. But the alternative historical consciousness that he proposes could also have great resonance for artists. Over and against the weakness of objective history, Benjamin makes the case for repeating the past not as it really was, but as it never was, engaging with the possibilities of the past that never got a chance for expression.
Disco DNA can be found in any current pop chart. There are underground groups and producers who owe as much to the Chic Organization and the Prelude label as a garage band owes to the Stooges and the Rolling Stones. Few treat disco as a living and breathing art form, as opposed to something in need of a revival and the uniqueness-eliminating reverence that often goes with it, like Hercules & Love Affair.
Review Summary: Dance! Everybody Dance!It may be 2008, but no one's told Andrew Butler. This New York DJ/Producer, under the pseudonym 'Hercules and Love Affair', likes to rock like it’s 1977, providing Carter administration survivors with some good material for nostalgic journeys into the days of bell bottoms, roller derbies, and the occasional Saturday Night Fever. With Hercules and Love Affair, Butler brings disco into the new millennium hard and strong.
Anyone feeling that music currently lacks a certain exoticism - awash as it is with prosaic mortgage indie and ordinary people elevated to star status by TV talent shows - should be heartened by the arrival of New York's Hercules and Love Affair. Their record company describes them as "a pan-sexual mix for our troubled times". That is one way of saying that Hercules and Love Affair are the kind of band in which guest vocalist Antony Hegarty - the Mercury prize-winning torch singer and radical gay performance artist, with a strong interest in gender reassignment - is the Charlie Watts figure: integral, but a bit stolid and suburban by contrast with his flamboyant bandmates.
It would be a mistake to see Hercules and Love Affair as the next now thing to roll off the DFA product line. For one thing, Brooklyn DJ Andy Butler started work on his ambitious debut album more than four years ago, during an innocent collaboration with friend Antony Hegarty. But plenty of new music takes years to properly ferment. No, the real reason Butler’s nu-disco sounds so out of time is that there’s not much nu about it.