As previously reported, Simian Mobile Disco are gearing up to release their third studio album Unpatterns, and from what we’ve heard so far it seems like James Ford and Jas Shaw have forgone the somewhat arid take on techno they’ve been exploring in recent years for a more playful sound.
It seems somewhat apt that Simian Mobile Disco releases this collection of Delicacies in the same week that the tenth edition of Kitsune’s Maison compilation drops; the duo of James Ford and Jas Shaw seemed ever present on earlier editions of the French boutique label’s annual collection circa 2006. Since those heady electro days led by the distorted riffage of Justeece, Simian Mobile Disco have drawn further away from this sound towards the raw primal techno thump that unfolds on Delicacies. Ostensibly this is a CD package rounding up all the vinyl-only tracks named after international exotic foods released by Ford and Shaw over the course of this year, and the nine tracks present demonstrate SMD in their element.
In no way is this Sunday afternoon easy listening material – the opening pressurised strains of “Aspic” make that perfectly clear, and the following eight tracks play out in similarly wall reverberating fashion. Resolutely hypnotic machine funk through and through that demands to be played in dark confined spaces with lots of speakers, the only drawback being watching SMD manipulate the tracks themselves as part of their special Records and Machine set is the best way to experience them. A welcome concession is made in the shape of an additional live studio mix CD containing all the tracks melded together by Shaw and Ford.
James Ford and Jas Shaw have announced the release of a mix CD to celebrate their residency at New York nightspot FIXED.
What happens when two legends from different music scenes come together? “U Can Dance” is the interesting result of the long awaited collaboration between DJ Hell and Bryan Ferry. The two men who have been supplying us with a variety of music for a couple of decades make a golden team: Bryan Ferry, best known as the singer of Roxy Music and responsible for many pop songs that have been listed in the UK Charts since the seventies, turns out to be an unexpected fan of dance music. It is also surprising that DJ Hell, who has been supplying us with many tunes and club bangers since the eighties, has chosen to work with Ferry, whose unique voice might seem more suitable for pop songs than dance music.
The result is a 10 minute mellow track that has a subtle build up and climaxes nicely. Bryan Ferry’s voice might take some getting used to on a track like “U Can Dance”, but it undeniably grows on you. He is accompanied by well mixed female vocals as well.
Contrary to what the title suggests, the original song is not designed for the dancefloor but the single comes with five different remixes that definitely are. Two of them are by Detroit producer Carl Craig, who mixes in a subtle beat that makes you want to move. Former (or so we are to believe) DFA man Tim Goldsworthy has also carved out something nice from the original, adding a swinging electronic drumbeat and eighties synths. London-based duo Simian Mobile Disco have proven themselves to be true masters of mixing yet again, turning “U Can Dance” into a pulsating peak time tune.
Review: Janna Willems
Just one of several prominent features on Simian Mobile Disco’s early 2009 full-length, Temporary Pleasure, was Gossip’s lead-singer Beth Ditto on “Cruel Intentions.”
There her roaring vocals play the foreground, reborn a diva in her genre debut. Now released as a single, the robust and soulful original gets proper reintroduction from several noteworthy producers.
Heartbreak both slows-down and reduces for each of his two remixes. Greg Wilson adds his own percussive flair, and Maurice Fulton sticks to complementary disco overtones.
But for the icing on the cake, Bristol prodigy Joker reinvents, adding his own dirty dubstep signature to the recipe, spicing up the single quite uniquely.
Review: Nick Andrews