Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Black Devil Disco Club "In Dub" (2007)

PITCHFORKMEDIA.COM: So few caught on to the mysterious Black Devil the first time around that it's no shock the group/guy/studio construct's excellent second coming, 28 Later, also took people by surprise. The 2006 disc of classic-sounding Italo disco came with little corroborating documentation, and to this day its contents remain unclear. Did the album round up songs from the vaults, or did the elusive, reclusive Bernard Fevre come up with new tracks in the mold of his earlier late-70s/early-80s music? No one seems to know for sure.

If the music did come from the vaults, and if there was more where it came from, you'd think Fevre would capitalize on it with a quick sequel. That 28 Later has instead been followed by a more or less rote remix album In Dub implies one of three things. One, there's nothing left in the vaults, leaving it to remixers to extend the group's already limited legacy. Two, there is more to be dusted off, but not much, and Fevre intends to dole it out at a leisurely pace. Or three, 28 Later was indeed of a more recent vintage than its retro sound indicated, but Fevre needed to buy some time to come up with more of the same.

This being Black Devil, or at least their 21st century reincarnation, In Dub isn't quite what it's billed as. Anyone expecting deconstructed versions of Fevre's already spare and streamlined songs will probably be disappointed by the autuer's jittery takes on his own tracks, which generally clutter up his cool sci-fi disco soundscapes with unnecessary sonic distractions that detract from their cyber-sexy awesomeness. "On Just Foot (Dub)" is total b-side doofiness, while the best bits of "Coach Me (Dub)" and "An Other Skin (Dub)" are close enough to their original counterparts. Fevre (or whomever) has more fun with "Constantly No Respect (Dub)", playing with the levels, isolating some of the vocals, dropping the beat in and out, but nothing on Fevre's half of In Dub furthers advances the dialogue he decided to restart.

The second half of In Dub, where Fevre lets a handful of likeminded fans have their way with his tracks, is also where the fun kicks in, and while it won't change the way you listen to 28 Later, it at least better hints how much this stuff clearly resonates with Fevre's erstwhile descendants and adherents.

"The Devil in Us (En Francais)" gets some acid house touches from Elitechnique, the results sounding more 1980s than even what Fevre drummed up. Some of the dissonant menace is gone, the beat's been boosted and, oh yeah, now the song's in French. "On Just Foot (Slide Inside)" features Prins Thomas having his Norwegian way with the tune, weaving Fevre's vocal doots and synth squelches into an even funkier confection that magnifies the sequencer pulse.

In Flagranti seemingly slows down "Coach Me (Again and Again)", accenting the disco backbeat and downplaying the melody until its throbs like a druggy afterthought. Quiet Village transforms "I Regret the Flower Power (Fragments of Fear)" into ambient microhouse bliss, and Black Mustang's decision to replace the snare with handclaps heightens the disco euphoria.

Unit 4 doesn't do anything special with the minimalist vamp "An Other Skin (Days of Blackula)", but like the best remixes it brings a few fresh ideas to the table without completely ignoring the song's original attributes. Like the rest of the remixes proper, It's enough to make waiting through Fevre walking in place worthwhile, rewarding your patience with savvy takes on Fevre's decidedly unsavvy retro-futurism. It's nothing new, but like everything else Black Devil's done, it'll at least make you move. [Official Artist Site] [Official MySpace Site].



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home