Release Date: Feb 6, 2016
Record label: DFA
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Crime Cutz, the latest from Holy Ghost!, is a four-track EP that strongly showcases the nu-disco side of the New York City indie dance duo. The title track fluctuates between a Giorgio Moroder synth-based '70s concoction and the '80s synth pop of Nu Shooz's frothy smash, "I Can't Wait," whose durability has outlasted that of its creators. The light breezy vibes continue on "Stereotype," which has a more serious sentiment than its sonics impart.
While James Murphy and his cohorts in LCD Soundsystem are busy touring the globe while positioning themselves as voices of a generation that may have partied a little too hard for a little too long, their DFA labelmates Holy Ghost! are engineering a notable return to form with Crime Cutz, their first EP of new material since their 2013 sophomore record, Dynamics. Up until now, Holy Ghost!'s arguable greatest achievement was their debut single, "Hold On," a track brilliant enough to carry the band from its release in 2007 to their debut album four years later. The four sprawling, joyous dance tracks on Crime Cutz finally follow up "Hold On" with something equally substantial.
Holy Ghost!, the Brooklyn-based electronic duo of Nick Millhiser, and Alex Frankel, has always been a band out of time. The group rose up in the second half of the 2000s with a string of impressive singles and remixes that faithfully recreated disco and funk, working on DFA with artists like LCD Soundsystem and Cut Copy at a time when that subsection of dance was at its prime. With a style closer to the latter — as they eschewed the irony and post-punk inclinations of LCD — the duo emerged as one of the stronger disco revival artists of the period.
by Austin Reed If there’s one lesson to mine from Holy Ghost’s 2013 LP Dynamics, it’s that musical versatility only works if the focus is both established and omnipresent. Unfortunately, the Brooklyn duo learned that lesson the hard way; despite the purest of intent and a handful of solid dance cuts, Dynamics was spread way too thin, attempting to cover the meaty, melodic four-on-the-floor propensities of Holy Ghost-past while navigating the disenfranchised mentality of Holy Ghost-future. In retrospect, calling Dynamics an emotional turning point seems legit, but at the time, Holy Ghost seemed confused by the conflict between the party euphoria and the psychological warfare that ensued the next morning.