Release Date: Mar 15, 2011
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance
Faced with the loss of their bassist following last year’s neo-dub-punk-dance stunner Steal Your Face, the two remaining members of Mi Ami responded by ditching their stringed instruments altogether, switching over to ancient drum machines, a sampler that runs on floppy disks, and the simplest keyboard presets imaginable. ALthough that setup might sound like the recipe for the latest chillwave release, the results of this change-up don’t bring to mind hazy memories of weed and beaches so much as they do Miami Sound Machine. Yeah, that Miami Sound Machine, the one played incessantly on the sort of radio stations that claim to play “everything.
When bassist Jacob Long left Mi Ami early this year, the San Francisco/NYC trio decided against seeking a replacement. It was a change that affected more than just their roster. On Dolphins, their first release since Long's departure, remaining members Daniel Martin-McCormick and Damon Palermo have abandoned guitars and drums and with them the dubby post-punk alchemy of earlier efforts.
Evolution’s tricky, especially when it’s forced by a loss of stability. With bassist Jacob Long’s departure from Mi Ami, consider the band’s strategy for quick recovery: Convert this void into opportunity and take a creative leap. The now duo of Daniel Martin-McCormick and Damon Palermo exchanged their live instruments for samplers, drum machines and synthesizers while maintaining their signature minimalism and penchant for groove.
Although [a]Mi Ami[/a]’s previous output – think a proto-Islet hopped up on jungle juice – didn’t pay much heed to reason, bassist Jacob Long apparently took any semblance of common sense with him when he quit earlier this year. The remaining members, Damon and Daniel, took their chance to reinvent [a]Mi Ami[/a] as a synth duo, thus erasing much of their ingenuity in favour of irritating, obvious Hi-NRG euphoria and, on [b]‘Echo’[/b], Daniel shrieking like [a]The Rapture[/a]’s Luke Jenner suffering night visions over dated punk-funk scree. Occasionally they hit an addictive groove, but you’d hope so given that the songs are each five to 10 minutes long.