Wednesday, February 1, 2012

REVIEW: Disco Inferno - D.I. Go Pop

9 out of 10
Find it here.

Disco Inferno has never really been able to escape the drowning hype of Brit Pop. When the Essex-based group played and released three albums and five EPs from 1989 to 1995, the focus of the English press rarely ventured into experimental music. Only among those who followed Post-Rock's earth shattering roots is Disco Inferno's image legendary. Outside that loose collective of people, mention of the band only conjures images of The Trammps flooding the dance floor in their bright red suits. It's a tragedy, really. But as many have begun to rediscover Disco Inferno's work as I did, it's like unearthing a forgotten gem of the past.

Fans often note 'D.I. Go Pop' as being the group's definite work. Right away, on “In Shark Weight,” the album's colossal gravity pulls you in. A sample of rushing water starts the song: “Has a John Cage record accidentally made its way to the turntable?,” you wonder. But in seconds, a four note Post-Rock harmony unravels into a two chord Post-Punk riff, and in creeps the heavy influence of Wire and Bark Psychosis. The innovation doesn't stop there. “New Clothes for the New World” exhibits the group's colder, more Industrial side with layered robotic vocals, cacophonous beats, and whistled harmonies, revealing a new level of complexity in Disco Inferno's discography. Disorder invades all of D.I. Go Pop, though “Next Year” shows disorder at its most composed. Two phasing, reverb trailed guitars open the piece, flowing above catchy synth lines, ominous bass drums, and glossy arpeggios reminiscent of their earlier work. Eventually surging electronics throw the song into a craze of noise, with Disco Inferno's peculiar beauty somehow still shining through. It's moments like these, with majestic beauty paired against rousing chaos, which defines 'D.I. Go Pop'.

Nothing prepares you for “Footprints In Snow.” The track shows Disco Inferno at their purest, despite it abandoning their signature guitar style for dreamy pianos. Its captivating melody pushes the song into heaven, but its subdued elements like the crunchy-sounding samples, gentle bass lines, creepy laughs, and Ian Crause's oddly bewildering vocals keep you grounded in tension. “Footprints In Snow” may not emulate the common image of the band, but it displays their nature to explore and defy, to burn down the boundaries of genre. It's important to note how, twenty years later, Disco Inferno's music hasn't fallen victim to the fluctuations of fashion. No sound parallels theirs, and few are as current and progressive.

Standout Tracks: In Sharky Water, Next Year, A Whole Wide World Ahead, Footprints In Snow

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