Tuesday, 13 August 2013

ALBUM REVIEW - Fuxa - Dirty D - Rocket Girl

Fuxa :
Dirty D :
Rocket Girl :
Out Aug 27 :
7/10

Being billed as a 'space-rock duo' (on Wikipedia) and bearing a name pronounced as 'fyoo-sha', Fuxa (with umlauts) might have hailed from Berlin or Dusseldorf, such is their motorik bent. Instead they are Detroit through and through, displaying a penchant for swirling electronica and atmospheric downbeats that evoke a forgotten transient landscape comprised of deserted car factories and neighbourhoods where the gutters are the cleanest places to sleep. Warm, resonating and rippling, much of this tenth full-length album is a vivid myriad of colours and textures that might not change the world, yet could be your answer to a sleepless night.

With a roll-call of over a dozen collaborators, Dirty D shimmies beatlessly for the first four tracks with The Blue Barracuda proving to be a fine opening gambit, featuring all manner of reference points, namely Gier Jenssen, Eno, Julee Cruise and Joanna Newsom, before a trio of unhinged ambient pieces nullify the senses pleasingly - Berzap, for example, is a blissful take on that space-rock analogy.

And then the 'fun' starts - after the lovely Inside, comes the electro-psychosis of the middle of the album. Shout Out Loud is as mournful as you like, while the single Sun Is Shining sounds like Suicide and Eat Lights Become Lights having a modulator orgy. Among the contributors is lap-steel maestro BJ Cole whose very name is reason enough to get enamoured of Fuxa's efforts. Here though, despite being present on four tracks, Cole is largely subdued apart from on Forward which wouldn't sound alien on his own Transparent Music album of the '80s.

There's an element of the Trent Reznor about Whisper and Shout Out Loud, both prime targets for a spot of EBM remixing I'll wager, while the album's closer is a curious coupling of Ben E.King's Stand By Me and Linda Ronstadt's Different Drum which may or may not have soul purists reaching for their sawn-offs. I rather like it, personally (the duo have previously delivered ethereal covers including The Go-Go's Our Lips Are Sealed). While Dirty D's mysterious title reveals little about its content's origins, listeners can seek solace by kicking back, shutting their eyes and using the far corners of their minds to figure it all out.