VARIOUS American Gigolo (International Deejay Gigolo)
Munich label International Deejay Gigolo are one of the foremost exponents of what the press have dubbed the Electroclash movement. And what exactly is Electroclash, you might quite rightly be asking? It appears to involve bored European model types talking dirty over crude electro soundscapes: if Nico had ever worked with Kraftwerk this whole thing could have been done and dusted decades ago. Because she didn't, and it wasn't, "American Gigolo" fixes and mixes the cream of International Deejay Gigolo's output into one handy reference document. It alights upon scene classics and near-hits such as Fischerspooner's whooshing "Emerge", Christopher Just's robocamp "I'm A Disco Dancer" and Tiga and Zyntherius' "Sunglasses At Night". From reading descriptions of the Electroclash sound I was reminded of the content of a CD curated by The Advent that passed through my hands about a year back, and lo and behold one of the highlights of that album, Doplereffekt's memorable "Porno Actress", turns up again here, along with some material by The Advent themselves.
But is this much-vaunted back-to-basics approach to dance music any good? I'd venture a cautious yes: "American Gigolo" has all the cheap drug flash and synthetic rush of the tackiest and most disposable end of popular culture, but underscored by a harsh, oppressive, unsettling edge. Its no great surprise to see the likes of Jeff Mills and Marc Almond on board here, along with barely-remembered 70s electro pioneers Tuxedomoon.
Assembled by "the hands of Gigolo wonderboy DJ Tiga", "American Gigolo" is a seamlessly mixed product. The devil's advocate might point out that the raw material sounds so similar that even a one-armed tone-deaf blindfolded monkey wouldn't encounter too much difficulty in dovetailing this stuff together, but our simian test case might not be able to make the music bubble, simmer and flow like Tiga does. When proceedings get a mite wobbly at the beginning of Der Zyklus' "Electronisches Zeitecho" it's more likely to be deliberate or a characteristic of the original vinyl than any lack of attention on the DJ's part.
Electroclash has the potential to be the faddiest of dance music fads, in which case Fischerspooner's seven-figure deal with the Ministry Of Sound's record label will look like an act of Ozymandian folly, a cautionary tale for future generations. But regardless of how long it survives, it's here and it's now, and "American Gigolo" offers a convenient way to skim off the cream.