Release Date: Nov 5, 2012
Record label: Different
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
While Rave Age's title may seem as outdated as the name of Vitalic's second album Flashmob did initially, it's actually a fitting umbrella for this set of songs. Given EDM's record popularity at the time of the album's release, the spirit behind raves -- if not the sound of the music that originally sparked the phenomenon in the late '80s and early '90s -- was thriving, and Pascal Arbez nods to how dance music came full circle, while adding a few twists of his own. "Rave Kids Go" kicks off the album with the filtered tones and simple but driving beats that Vitalic is known for, but is more straightforwardly EDM in its sound and spirit, while the glow-stick insistence of "No More Sleep"'s siren-like synths shows that Arbez is trying to capture the feel of the dancefloor as well as write tracks that make it move.
Vitalic’s third album retreads the same gleefully maximal path as the records that came before it. But let’s not criticise the 36-year-old Gallic rave lord for failing to move his sound on, because that would be like moaning that the last Slayer album could have done with a few more ballads. Instead, let’s praise this razor-sharp electronic music with a heavy-metal soul that’s delivered with buckets of wit, panache and invention.
When Vitalic returned a couple of years back with a louder and tarted up version of his debut, it was so good to have him about again that the music press overlooked it. This time I doubt he'll be so lucky. For whilst Rave Age isn't as bad a set of tunes as the title would have you believe, it is undoubtedly more of the same yet less of a coherent album.
VitalicRave Age[Different; 2012]By Will Ryan; November 5, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGUnder the moniker Vitalic, Pascal Arbez-Nicolas has always sat at the fringes of French house. You rarely hear his name in the same breath as French dynamos Justice and Daft Punk, but aside from simple geographical ties, all three share common textural and philosophical threads. Vitalic just whittles them down to their nucleus and then pushes them to the absolute red.
Much of the current wave of aggressive, pop-oriented dance music can be traced to 2005. That year, Madonna's late-career foray into Eurodance, Confessions on a Dancefloor marked the last time she'd be ahead of the curve, while French Touch veteran Alan Braxe attracted indie types to glittery hedonism with his stellar singles comp The Upper Cuts. Meanwhile, the teeth-grinding one-two French electro-punch of Justice's antagonistic Waters of Nazareth 12" and Daft Punk's oft-maligned Human After All now sound strangely prescient.
It’s been 3 years since French techno producer Vitalic’s (aka Pascal Arbez) last album ‘Flashmob’, and here he returns with ‘Rave Age’, produced by Stephane Alf Briat, best known for his previous work with Air and Phoenix. The new release begins auspiciously enough with the stonker ‘Rave Kids Go’; with a simple series of words “when the city comes alive / the streets are filled are joy / the kids are joining us / ready for the rave?”, it seems custom made to be a permanent Friday night anthem. While many similar tunes tend to be well and in some cases over-polished that you practically wince from the shiny gloss on the surface, there’s a rawness to the track, and indeed, many of the others on this album that comes across as endearing and unpretentious.