Arthur Loves Plastic - Love or Perish
Chris Helsby 23/06/2006
This album by New York DJ Bev Stanton is something like her twelfth or thirteenth release. Apparently she's won loads of awards around the NY music scene and done soundtrack stuff for a bunch of films and TV, including the Playboy channel.
It's a weird record in that it sounds like Fischerspooner and all that crop of retro-electro heads who have come out of America (and everywhere else) over the last few years but it doesn't seem to have any of that updated sound to it. All the electroclash stuff uses sounds and ideas from the eighties but runs them through a mixer of nineties dance and industrial - all the beats are heavier than anything you would've heard in 1986 and the tunes are more structured around pop songs rather than drawn out extended 12”mixes.
But this leaves off the nineties influences and sounds like it is straight out of a late-eighties bargain bin. It's disco-house; big, deep bass lines with snippets of vocals mixed on top - some woman shouting 'Baby' through an echo effect, that sort of thing. In fact, what it sounds like more than anything is S-Express. It's proper glitzy disco funk made from synths and drum machines.
Occasionally it goes into looser, more trippy bits that sound a bit like William Orbit's very-early-nineties project Bassomatic, but still those sounds are there - the vocals cut-up by the earliest samplers and replayed in different arrangements. It's like Paul Hardcastle's 19, that classic house tune with the vocal sample that Moby once said had blown him away when he first heard it - he was left thinking how such a sound could possibly be made.
What it comes down to is that this is an ace album of proper old sounds; the ones that are close to a lot of stuff you hear being used nowadays but are just slightly different. Problem is that it doesn't have any massive hit tunes on it and the album lacks any focus because of this, but if you're into real old-school house and disco there's plenty on here to remind you of the stuff you may have forgotten.