It took Vitalic's Pascal Arbez-Nicolas over four years to follow up OK Cowboy, but then he's never been a particularly speedy producer. After all, his debut album featured singles that were nearly a half-decade old by the time they appeared on the full-length. Even if Flashmob's title feels a little dated, suggesting mid-2000s trends a few years after they peaked, the same can't be said about its music.
It’s been four years since Vitalic released his debut OK Cowboy and prematurely secured all the plaudits for the best electro record of the decade. Four long years… Fourteen hundred plus days between albums usually spells trouble, right? A creative block or an overly long period of gestation that results in mind-numbing tediousness. At the very least, your audience will either have long forgotten about you or now be suffering from ludicrously lofty expectations.
Few 21st-century house/techno tracks have proven as oddly influential as Vitalic's 2001 "La Rock" and "Poney Part 1". Released when microhouse's delicate sound-sculpting was being touted as dance music's future, and strangely first claimed by electroclash fans during that trend's brief and ignoble peak, Vitalic offered speaker-frying synth-riffs (or sometimes just synth-squeals) to scare off wannabe aesthetes and IDM refugees, reaffirming the productive struggle in post-acid dance between funk and floor-clearing noise. But as "Poney Part 1" and "La Rock" reared their ugly heads again and again, showing up on one compilation after another during the next three years with little new Vitalic material in sight, fans who valued humor and nuance as much as focused brutality may have wondered if producer Pascal Arbez had exhausted his one distortion-drenched trick.
It’s been four years since the French electro maestro escorted us into the dirty, dark depths of some intimidatingly chic European discotheque. And not much has changed since then. The title track hangs heavy with a claustrophobic beat; [b]‘Terminateur Benelux’[/b] feels like being glassed with a disco ball as the spiralling synths spin around a stampede of cowbells; the whirring buzz of [b]‘See The Sea (Red)’[/b] is like being taken out dirty dancing then politely ushered home.