Detroit Swindle - High Life
Dutch duo Detroit Swindle have returned with their sophomore album after "Boxed Out" which got them some major cred in House Music circles. This new album however, instead of sticking to the formula tries to step out and try some new things. The first difference you'll notice is the instrumentation. You really get a live jazz feel on this record, but not as disparate and unapproachable as jazz. Dance is still always at the center here but the flourishes become more tones that you know and exciting bright changes. "High Life" has the synths turned all the way up, shifting and moving through this really bold track that is not afraid to go bright and fun but also can shift into something more dirty and dark if need be. Songs like "Yes, No, Maybe" actually feel like Disclosure tracks, with a really strong sense of keeping you moving while giving you a song that is complex and diverse. You really don't expect the tracks with vocals to be as great as they are, but man o man do they really cook. The songs as a whole are quite long, but the record really feels unconcerned with time. Besides the few vocal driven tracks there is little care for keeping things tight what so ever. I've already made the Disclosure allusion, but the more you dig into this record the more of them you hear. At only two albums in Detroit Swindle have such a mastery of what makes great dance music that it is really something to behold.
You'll also find yourself engrossed when the duo go a bit darker and dive into the House and Techno roots. "Freeqy Polly, does just that putting a beat on the floor, throwing in a little crowd noise and transporting you straight to a crowded basement club, one laser beaming away as people shift side to side. It's that special techno place that only some super great techno can bring you too. The thumping bass is just infectious as all hell. This record is far more refined than their last, but in going for a slicker sound they also have added a sense of freedom to their tunes. There are less restraints on this album and less of a need to impress. They allow the songs to live on their own, be whatever they are going to be without putting some kind of expectation on them. The albums final third is far more techno driven than any other part, which gives the album this really purposeful shift in sound. There is an exuberance and excitement surrounding this album that has been missing in electronic music for awhile, it's nice to find a pair of DJs who are ready to bring it the fuck back.
9.0 out of 10