Delicacies

Studio Album by released in 2010

Delicacies review

Experienced members of the young duet are ready to bring new surprises

Let the little-informed listeners not be confused by the small number of CDs in the Simian Mobile Disco discography. Let them not pay attention to the young age of this formation. For the members of this duet, James Ellis Ford and James Anthony Shaw, have been around in the music business for quite a long while, recorded quite a lot of music and found quite a lot of support all over the world, before Simian Mobile Disco was assembled. Working in the duet spurred them to do some greater and bigger things still. The new formation’s first two efforts intrigued the public and surprised the critics, for both had not been ready to face such an innovative and open-minded creative form. Until lately, many used to describe what these British were doing calling it plainly ‘fusion of guitars and minimalistic electronica’. These words can hardly be applied to the duo’s last to date studio work under the sweet title Delicacies. It begs to be served to the New Year table, or rather, to the party dance floor.

Old techno secrets of nice delicacies

What is the beast of slavery bit both Jameses, but they have again demonstrated wonders of hard work and presented Delicacies only a year after the release of their second album Temporary Pleasure (2009). Although these CDs are separated by a short period like that, we can find a great lot of differences on them, which the band’s supporters may see as a good, or a bad sign. The average duration of the new Simian Mobile Disco album’s tracks is eight minutes, which might raise suspicions, or give hope, depending on what you have expected. Number one, Aspic, gives a perfect idea of what we are going to listen to within the next hour. This is a dance track assembled out of classic techno tricks, and free of any additions. This music absorbs, paralyses and embraces your consciousness while it is on, yet you forget it the instant you stop hearing it, because it has got no melodies, and the structure is remarkable for the absence of structure. Simian Mobile Disco retained well-contoured bass lines and perfect rhythmic patterns. These men did the least expected thing – they excavated good old techno out of the ashes of time and offered something once loved and followed, yet not played now.

An exclusive dish for the chosen

Do not forget that we are talking about delicacies here. What makes a dish (for example, a music dish, food for ears) a true delicacy is nuances you can notice only when they are removed from it. You do not really feel them at once, and it takes a number of tries to single out tricks that distinguish the tracks of Delicacies. Soon it will become clear that even the complete absence of vocal parts, buildups and live instruments did not make these compositions alike and dull. The title Aspic, Casu Marzu, and Thousand Year Egg are born to make the dances wilder with their energy and intensity. Sweetbread is quieter as it lulls with smoother beats. Ortolan, and Hakarl are dipped into psychedelic solution of synths and these synths, like living fiber, cover the rhythmic skeleton. Each of the delicacies offered here steers clear of careless treatment, does not endure mixing up with other dishes and is not prepared for mass consumption. Simian Mobile Disco, having released Temporary Pleasure, seemed to be getting to the heights of the charts. They looked pleased and happy to make music for other people’s voices, make short songs compatible with pop-music formats, and then… Then they delivered Delicacies. This, actually, is an ancient trick, to capitalize on contrast, to make something well forgotten something new, but this band did it decently, skillfully, like a chef making his favorite dish.