Release Date: Sep 11, 2012
Record label: Modular
Genre(s): Electronic, Club/Dance, Neo-Electro
For a fun-loving electro duo, Australia’s The Presets sure can spin a yarn. Their 2008 sophomore album, Apocalypso, vaguely explored the novel-ready interplay between good times and the End Times (the title’s a portmanteau of apocalypse and calypso). With album number three, Pacifica, their flirtation with literary-musical fare has become more apparent, with the pair using the album’s ten tracks to weave a profound tale of a paradise beyond the Apocalypse, a land called Pacifica where love and discothÃ¨que highs reign supreme.
Australian electro duo the Presets create a kind of temporal convergence, blending electronic music's past with its present on their third album, Pacifica. Making modern dance music with the feel of synth pop, the pair are able to pull off an interesting sonic trick, delivering an album that feels distinctly '80s without actually sounding like it's from that era. While Pacifica's production is crisp and clear, the album has a dark vibe running through it, adding a vaguely unsettling feeling to the songs' pulsing rhythms to give the whole thing a nocturnal feeling.
If listening to sentimental techno ballads about giving up the days of tits and cocaine is what you want to do with an hour of your time, look no further. It’s not to say The Presets’ work was ever particularly mind-bending, but they were always able to knock out a few good tracks to run to, if nothing else. But, man. The intro howlings on “Ghosts” creepily sound like Baltimora’s “Tarzan Boy,” which can never be a good thing under any circumstances.
Tindersticks have done a very curious thing to commemorate their 20 years of recording. Checking in to Abbey Road, they’ve re-recorded 10 tracks from their back catalogue, released or otherwise, that they wanted another crack at. Mercifully, there’s no radical reworking. If anything, the chosen songs sound even more like they did before – if perhaps only because of the way we remember them.
Existing as a constant beckoning invite back into the dark basements of ‘electroclash’, The Presets have remained for years one of the most beguiling and downright irresistible electronic acts. Despite a decidedly low profile on the verdant shores of Britain, the duo of Kim Moyes and Julian Hamilton are absolutely huge down under. Second album ‘Apocalypso’ swept up at the Australian BRIT-equivalent the ARIAs with an inescapable wave of critical adulation that most of the world’s other bands could only dream of matching.
Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes were an integral part of Australia’s early ’00s dance boom, alongside bands such as Cut Copy. But the popularity of the duo’s fusion of aggressive rock and thumping techno on records like ‘Apocalypso’ has fizzled out. So, in the spirit of keeping up with the frantic pace of modern electronic music, on third album ‘Pacifica’ The Presets experiment with smoothed-out synths of the M83 variety, mismatched minimal production, eerie ambience and – hey, why not? – some cheesy echoing vocals on ‘Ghosts’ and ‘It’s Cool’.