Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bearded Scandinavian Disco Revolutions!




Sometime ago on ILM on an LCD Soundsystem thread I remember growling "how much further can we take this macho-isation of disco? perhaps we can make disco into hard techno if we really try". The fact I am now writing a blog post about a disco record with men dressed up as boxers does not necessarily prove I was right to wonder, but I still think it's an interesting area.


Certainly post LCD Soundsystem and post-Murphy, as we now are by several years, there's a rapidly growing stoic respect for disco, in most electronic music circles. In a way it's offputting, when I jeered "perhaps we can make disco into hard techno if we really try" I was simply pointing out the dangers of removing the pop from dance music, the awful rockism that ensues, and the inevitably dull scenes and tunes.


At ground level as it were, there are more young guys I know than ever before asking about italo-disco, and hell even playing it. Robotnick is as big a draw in Dublin as anybody these days. I think for the electrohouse set today, knowing your italo is kind of considered a must, and I don't think it'll be long before EBM goes the same way. I do wonder to what extent this trend for studied retrospection was and is mirrored by those deep house fans who all like old soul and disco of the more organic variety, (I like to think of that as "loveboat disco" as opposed to say, "spaceship disco"!). I would speculate that revivalism is bigger now, in dance, than ever before, hardly a radically new idea, in fact it seems a general consensus has descended which says that "dance music" the genre really is beginning to set its ideologies and legends in stone, unashamedly.


It's fitting then (and fucking typical!), at this point in time, that a rock band like LCD Soundsystem should emerge as being prissy and precious about disco! I mean come on guys, you WEREN'T there in 1986 on that beach in Ibiza were you? If you were you sure kept your mouth shut for all these years. There's just something unsettling about the direction this reverence could take us in, for me. I mean do we really want house or disco conceptually, to one day become like "soul", in that crushing overbearing yuppy way? This is why the more vulgarity, childishness, disgusting sex drums and lack of Murphyist approaches to production in dancefloor music we have the better. I say more prolific artists and less auteurs. And I say all this having seen LCD deliver a scintillating liveset at Glastonbury, complete with a live band version of "Throw" by Paperclip People, a cover version which was inspiring on the day but really isn't in the context of this argument.


So the likes of Prins Thomas (above) and his cohort Hans Peter Lindstrom fit into this argument as the the actual desirable revival, they have a kooky wacky anonymity about them and they're not going to become rock's great new ego overnight, thank god. Also they may never release an album, nor will you have to read about whether they sound like the Fall or Talking Heads, no matter how popular they get. Aside from all this, their music is fantastic, they make wonky wacky disco, sometimes sounding like cosmic italo, and sometimes sounding like music you'd play to a classroom of kids for them to march to. And they're absolutely retro, but it's not an ostentatious jacket of retrospection with a million fucking badges on it, just a revival of a sound they like on some 1000 selling 12s with scrawny beardey dudes pretending to have boxing matches on the cover.


Isn't that real disco tradition?

9 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

More disgusting sex drums! YES!

1:56 PM  
Blogger JoB said...

Funny thing, then, that Lindstrøm has remixed the new LCD single.

And I would definitely expect an album from this man either this year or the next, with all the accompanying "rehabilitation of disco".

9:12 AM  
Blogger Ronan said...

Yeah I guess an album is on the way, and indeed the Lindstrom remix of Tribulations is great, and his second remix for DFA. But still!

12:31 PM  
Blogger philip said...

Linstrom and Prins Thomas are brilliant, agreed, but I don't know about kooky wacky anonymous - they've been riding a bit topheavy in the blogosphere for 16 or 32 bars now, and especially after a few successful gigs in New York (PS1's Summer Warmup and, I think, the good ol' Tribeca Bland), they're getting namechecked left and right by, well, tons of people who don't really buy records, but wait for names like this to emerge, so they can get on the bandwagon just before it mainstreams. No dis to L and PT; just an observation that they may well be the next stars out of this movement.

2:14 PM  
Blogger charltonlido said...

havent MAW been rehabilitating disco since the year dot?

1:20 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Lindstrom produced an Anelli Drecker (her of Bel Canto) song "Desire" - it's literally like dreamy scandavian euro-pop with "I Feel Space" playing somewhere in the background.

12:48 AM  
Blogger JoB said...

There you go: http://www.electronicpm.co.uk/epm__press_release.php?press_release_pick=469

6:34 AM  
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