Sunday, 25 October 2009

Gus Gus Keep It Going

MP3: Add This Song (Lopazz and Zarook Remix)
BUY: Boomkat

Remember Gus Gus? The breakthrough Icelandic 90s electronic pop collective famous for, amongst other things, having the band's extended retinue (including their accountant and costume designer) in photoshoots and their talismanic jumpsuit-wearing shaven-headed singer Daniel Agust. Their debut album "Polyesterday" was an epic, hazy, genre-straddling electronica opus; "This Is Normal" was the follow-up, taking a more pop direction. It's been ten years since that last release, and 24/7 represents a welcome return.

Reinvented as a tastefully besuited three-piece, Gus Gus have refined their previous exploratory tendencies into a focussed presentation of sensual, glamorous techno. 24/7 is album built from languid beats and Agust's silky crooning. The synths loop tightly, occasionally flowering into pulsing, undulating arpeggios; "The Thinnest ice" builds a simmering tension over it's eight and a half minutes, slowly easing in new elements. "Hateful" explores it's own space as if caged for the first few minutes, before a questionably revenge-minded (but utterly seductive) vocal tirade from Agust, this time delivered in a soul-inflected style.

"Add This Song" is the anthemic finale, with a rising synth line and a slightly faster pace. For something so minimal, it's compulsively catchy and oddly timeless, bringing to mind everything from 80s minimal techno and 90s trance to the booming stadium-dance of Faithless and the recent shimmering electro of The Knife.

24/7 is by far the the most coherent album Gus Gus have produced, and the most one-dimensional as a result; but what's lost in open-hearted experimentalism is made up for with a relentless, hypnotic and diamond-sharp sound.

Gus Gus are gonna conquer Europe with this shit. It's about time.

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