VARIOUS ARTISTS Super Discount (Different)
A dance compilation that even the Dadrockers at Q and Mojo have admitted enjoying, the brains behind "Super Discount" is one Etienne De Crecy, a Frenchman who has rounded up a gaggle of his countrymen proficient in the politics of dancing and slapped their efforts onto this virulently-yellow-sleeved album. And the results are very, very fine.
The mood throughout is mellow, bordering on cheesy-listening, but prevented from toppling over into the wasteland of irony and parody (e.g. Dimitri From Paris) by the sheer excellence of many of the offerings. Lounge lizard string samples snuggle up to heavily phased beats (the latter being a trick popularised by the mighty Daft Punk, who are sadly a little too, well, uncouth to appear here), interspersed with snatches of dialogue (all in French, naturally).
The best track must be an early work from this weeks (or possibly last weeks) flavour of the month Air, in the form of an EDC remix of "Solidissimo (Super Sale)", a tune that reappears in a revised, and markedly inferior, form, on their debut album, reviewed above. Here its all mellifluous electric piano, lazy beats and vocal samples: on "Moon Safari" it grows lyrics and receives a dumbing down to try and get the point across on the radio, forcing the ideas rather than letting them develop at their own pace. The albums other highlight is "Tout Doit Disparaitre (Everything Must Go)", performed by Minos Pour Main Basse (Sur La Ville), whoever they may be. Built on a deliciously slinky bass riff, this track is notable for the way the drum track seems to drop in and out at random, an amazing, unpredictable effect that keeps the listener on edge - which, after all, is hardly the point of the easy-listening source material on which "Super Discount" is clearly based.
If you like dance music, youll probably find something to enjoy here. If you dont like dance music, try to give it a listen anyway, because this is about as warm, approachable and human as the genre is likely to get.