Release Date: Nov 30, 2010
Record label: Delicacies
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Techno, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance, Minimal Techno, Acid House
Admittedly, I am not exactly an expert on electronic dance music. My tastes lie more in the avant-garde, the experimental, IDM, ambient, and microsound, some favorites being Autechre, Aphex Twin, the Juan McLean, Fennesz, HEALTH’S Disco series, Max Tundra, and Venetian Snares. And I’d really appreciate it if I don’t get any critic’s critics making snarky comments about how I know nothing about music and I’m not qualified for this.
There's changes of artistic direction, and then there's Simian Mobile Disco. Go back to last year's bloated, all-star sophomore slump Temporary Pleasure, and you're confronted by a production team that sounded like they were squandering their indie-dance crossover cred, scraping together a pop-skewing record that tried to please everybody and disappointed half of them. So what do they do for a follow-up? An album of tech-house instrumentals based around slow builds, minimal melodies, and wide-open, between-beat negative spaces that sounds almost completely alienating outside a dancefloor context-- as well as a second disc of the tracks mixed together.
If last year’s [b]‘Temporary Pleasure’[/b] LP sounded suspiciously like [b]James Shaw[/b] and [b]James Ford[/b] phoning in guest-strewn rent-paying attempted chart humpers, [b]‘Delicacies’[/b] just about ’fesses up to the whole sorry mess. Binning commercial concerns to instead boot us headlong into a dark, dirty techno dive, the duo regain stride, collating eight choice bangers from the nosh-themed 12-inch series they’ve issued over the past year on their own imprint. Whipping up a surplus of creeping, insistent sophistication – climaxing with ping-ponging head-wrecker ‘Aspic’ – you can once again envisage techno overlords such as [b]Sven Väth[/b] dropping SMD, rather than daytime radio DJs.
During the past five-plus years, British production duo Simian Mobile Disco have earned a rep for serving up schizoid combinations of pop and dance music considered delicacies of each genre. With 2007’s Attack Decay Sustain Release and last year’s Temporary Pleasure, plaudits rained down for the wide-ranging approaches to sampling, collaborations (Gossip’s Beth Ditto and Jamie Lidell among them), and a dedication to the bottom line, as in the one that thumps and shakes. Apparently, that brand of pleasure was temporary indeed.