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    OK Cowboy 9 ( 2005 )
    Polkamatic / Poney Part 1 / My Friend Dario / Woo / La Rock 01 / The Past / No Fun / Poney Part II / Repair Machines / New Man / Trahison / U & I / Valletta Fanfares

    The dance discovery of the year, no question. Vitalic and LCD Soundsystem, alongside Boards Of Canada ( who have been around for 2/3 years ) are revitalizing a music scene that had died an ugly death. Ugly, simply because it was being ignored on any meaningful level that wasn't purely commercial. Dance music has failed to move forwards since around 1998, or so. Until recently, it seems. 'Vitalic' are the kind of dance music anybody who likes the latest chart-friendly club-pop tune, will hate. No vocals to speak of, no concessions are made towards pop music, at all. The freshness arrives with the new spin taken simply because of the fact Vitalic is French. France has long had an underground house/techno scene and it's good someone is now arriving to potentially make a global name for themselves. Oh, and here's a thing. Vitalic was originally born in Ukraine, before residing in France as he currently does. No wonder the guy sounds different to the brainless dance-dj masses. Let's face it, a big reason for dance-music's stagnation is the fact everybody thinks they can do it and all those people are utilizing the same tricks as everybody else. Vitalic is melodically rich whilst at the same time able to absolutely destory a dancefloor through sheer bass-pumping, noise glory. Noise glory married to synths laying out a melody. Synth variations that are at times fairly typical techno fare, other times utterly melodic glory of the very best Kraftwerk kind. Vitalic doesn't sound like Kraftwerk, but may sound like a Kraftwerk that isn't German. A modern type of music of the kind that does vaguely resemble what we've heard before, but not quite. There's something going on here that's actually hard to put a finger on. Variation, ah! How many dance albums have that? 'OK Cowboy' is one of the strongest dance albums i've ever heard as far as variation is concerned. From dance-floor pummellers through to more meditative beasts that are always interesting.

    'My Friend Dario' is one of my tracks of the year ( 2005 ). Opening with the sound of motor engines revving up, it continues with squelchy noises, an irrisistable melody and spooky vocals thrown through a mixing desk. It has a vibe and an energy, sounds stupendous turned up loud and may well be an actual piece of musical genius. 'Woo' and 'La Rock 01' immediately follow 'My Friend dario' on the album, the high point of the record. Although, first and last songs aside, everything on the album is strong and captivating. 'Woo' is eccentric synth melodies mixed with unsual beats, a mid-tempo foot tapper packed with melody. 'La Rock 01' is just absolutely storming, art-techno with absolutely no gimmicks. 'Repair Machines' sounds like early 80s new-wave mixed up, turned inside out and transported to the 21st century. 'New Man' is a noisy beast and the kind of techno-track John Peel would play and we'd pick out as a highlight of his show, but never hear from the artist in question ever again. 'New Man' is great, but it's by no means a stand-out cut on 'OK Cowboy'. That's a sure sign of an album with quality, if ever there was one. Ah, one final thing. Compared to Vitalic, The Prodigy are to techno/dance what The Backstreet Boys are to The Beatles. That may not make entire sense, but hopefully it's enough to intrigue you to seek out some Vitalic music all of your own.

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    top of page Flashmob( 2009 )
    Polkamatic / Poney Part 1 / My Friend Dario / Woo / La Rock 01 / The Past / No Fun / Poney Part II / Repair Machines / New Man / Trahison / U & I / Valletta Fanfares

    The welcome return of Vitalic injects the dance/electronica/IDM scene with much needed class. 'One Above One' for instance has squelchy 80s analogue type beats, a spoken female narrator chanting 'One Above One' and lots of interesting attractions to view as you're passing by. You can't actually dance to this, it's designed to be listened to. It's cerebral yet also party-time fun, if that makes sense? It makes you cheerful without feeling the need to get up, take drugs, get drunk and also make out with your best mate's girlfriend/boyfriend. Well, you know how it is with dance music, it's background stuff designed to make your night flow along better without actually being of any importance in and of itself. Well, i'm generalising obviously, because 'Vitalic' is dance music and I like him an awful lot.

    The title track here moves his sound on from the celebrated 'OK Cowboy', providing us with absolutely massive bass sounds in amongst his usual interesting synths sounds. There's something exhilarating and scary about this album title track, perhaps it's the way the synth sounds goes upwards in a very strange tracjectory then plummets you back down again like a noisy rollercoaster. 'Station MIR 2009' has great 'wurp wurp' bass noises - what more do you want? The likes of 'Terminateur Benelux' pound and pump and the odd voice pops up shouting 'ha-ha!' like a magician who has just pulled off a spectacular stunt. Such tracks are placed near the softer, melodic likes of the scenic 'Sea The Sea (Blue)' - for those comedown moments, no doubt. For the dreamers. The opening 'Sea The Sea (Red) is the literal opposite, the same tune but with more obvious dance overtones more danger.

    Overall, 'Flashmob' is an album, the odd quieter moment apart, firmly aimed at dancefloors whilst maintaining enough interest to make listening at home very palatable as well.

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    top of page this page last updated 16/01/10

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