Music Reviews

Digital Disco

Various Artists


I think I’ve just come to a revelation – which, with my luck, will be something most of you figured out long ago. The problem with this kind of tech-house club/dance music, or at least my problem with a lot of it, is that most of the “artists” should be producing other people who are better able to move me, either physically or emotionally.

Humanity, that’s what I’m missing. For all the novelty effects and such, I still hold that what makes synth-pop groups like New Order and Pet Shop Boys more fulfilling than some of their peers (cough, Madonna, cough) is emotional engagement.

I suppose you don’t need that as long as you’ve got these beats and bass. And yet, for all that it doesn’t do as much for me as I would have liked, I’m going to put this album in the “successful” box. It doesn’t make you say “Fuck, yeah!” or “Oh, baby!” like the most interesting albums do, and it all sounds a lot like a mix without the “re,” all moves and motion with nothing much to cause a commotion over… but I like the ways in which it turns back the clock. I’ll go along, even if we’re on the road to nowhere.

If as many of you out there have read my reviews as I like to pretend you do, you know that my musical taste was shaped in some fashion by new wave, alternative dance-pop electronica. This is what happens when you get too attached to the “Main Street Electrical Parade” record as a child. But anyway, to my point: This kind of pounding beat, simple melody, computer driven, alternately echoed and crunchy synth bass, boing boom tschak, play that funky music white noise… was the soundtrack to what I say with a straight face was my “coming to maturity.”

Digital Disco means what happens when you “take the vitality of the early house movement & dose it with the twisted ironic splendor of ’80s pop,” at least according to the Force-Tracks Web site.

To my ears, though, there’s not enough substance poured over these particular grooves. Most of them just shuffle along pleasantly, not putting you in mind of any particular emotion, nothing here to love, but nothing to hate either.


Recently on Ink 19...

Hell High

Hell High

Screen Reviews

Forgotten ’80s horror film Hell High returns on Blu-ray from Arrow. Phil Bailey reviews.