Volume 94, Issue 99
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Funky French guys return - A scientific sound Discovery
For a form that prides itself on constant reinvention, electronica can be surprisingly slow to evolve.
As such, the revolution that was started in 1996 by a couple French guys calling themselves Daft Punk is far from over. Though they've been away for nearly five years, the sound they made prominent with their album Homework is still in vogue.
With the release of their long-awaited second record, Discovery, Daft Punk has made an album that touches on the past while showing the way to the future.
By now you've probably heard Discovery's first single, a breathtaking thumper called "One More Time." It's not very often that a song this perfect comes along. With its invigorating melody, breathy vocals and pulsating rhythms, "One More Time" is surely the best dance track to be released in ages.
The rest of the album is a relentless romp through a variety of different styles and genres. Other highlights include "High Life," a delicious slice of disco kitsch with staccato horn blasts and sampled vocals, and "Too Long," an extended house number that slowly builds to an ecstatic climax. Without a doubt, it is the album's eclecticism that is its strongest point.
Elsewhere, "Something About Us," is a slinky slow jam accompanined by a slippery bassline, while "Face To Face," is a percolating nod to the funk scene of 1980s Minneapolis. It's songs like these that make obvious the most striking aspect of Discovery. Rather than simply recording a series of overly long, aimless pieces, Daft Punk has crafted an album that, while still danceable, contains actual structured songs.
With Discovery, Daft Punk has recorded a consistently brilliant album that should fill dancefloors everywhere and help extend French dance music for a good while longer.
Aaron St. John
any shape or form
Hey bartender, serve up another shot!
Apart from the very cool name, any shape or form is an excellent piece of work by this fledgling Winnipeg band. Tequila Mockingbird's first full-length album is without question a hidden gem among the many up-and-coming Canadian artists.
The album ranges greatly in style, from the extremely mellow riffs of "Into Relief," to the much heavier rock of "Hiding Out." The band specializes in great lyrics throughout and the vocals are generally above average.
Tequila Mockingbird's versatility is particularly amazing, providing an effective and creative alternative to what passes for the standard these days. It's extremely disappointing that songs such as "Silent Observer" and the title track have not made their way to radio dominance in our region.
The production of the CD is quite good, with some great effects, while the mixing is absolutely suberb for an independent album. Juno-nominated producer Olaf Pyttlik produced and engineered the tracks on any shape or form and he has clearly done a fine job.
any shape or form's downfall comes from tracks such as "Voyageur" and "Kamikaze," songs which appear to have been hapazardly thrown onto the end of the record. These songs don't really fit with the flow of the rest of album and should have been left out.
Tequila Mockingbird definitely shows some serious talent with this album, and hopefully they can use this album as a stepping stone to improve further and perhaps score themselves a contract with a major record label. Nonetheless, this album is strong and would be a great addition to any Canadian music lover's collection.
Dave Van Dyck
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