Unpatterns, Simian Mobile Disco, Wichita, £6.99
It was Justice who, in 2006, booted Simian Mobile Disco into the electrohouse stratosphere via “We Are Your Friends”, a heavily bass-weighted, synthsoaked remix of “Never Be Alone” by Simian – the offbeat, indiepop genesis of SMD. A year later, the DJ/remix pair dropped “It’s the Beat”, the first single from their debut album, that title about as plain a setting out of anyone’s stall as you could imagine. Five years on and… it’s still the beat. Frankly, what else is there?
Lesser talents might now be twitching with third-album anxiety, but James Ford and Jas Shaw are grooving, shimmying, raving… doing anything but nervously twitching. Unpatterns pulls off the difficult trick of reviving recent(-ish) dance history without indulging in craven retroism. It’s rather blissed-out and brilliantly buoyant; an astute take on rave and house (hard, deep-vocal, piano). It’s not only a throbbing testament to SMD’s knowledge of this music, but also to their deep love. “Put Your Hands Together” is the multi-tracked centrepiece, a feverish and soaring call-to-arms set to ignite dance floors from Vladivostok to Venus. Also of note are gorgeous, gospel-house tune “Seraphim”, the insistently percolating “Interference” and “Pareidolia”, whose plush synth vapour trails trigger a memory rush of almost indecent pleasure.
There are patterns in this history, of course, but dogged path-following is not SMD’s way. The destination, though, is shared – house, sweet house.
By Sharon O’Connell on June 08 2012 11.31am