There’s something about the world of dance music. Although it’s a medium that is essentially for the purpose of uninhibited joyful expression via the medium of physical movement i.e. dancing, with few exceptions there really are some poker faced buggers at the helm a lot of the time.
Thankfully we can all breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the arrival of Mike Monday who has courteously decided to provide us with a selection of dance music that comes from somewhere warm and frothy rather than somewhere so dark it would be diamond if it was squeezed any harder. This is music that doesn’t come from the land of dress codes, or hollow cheeked pose and pout merchants.
Twelve tracks with a cleanliness and springiness to them that make me immediately think of things like summer and acts like Lemon Jelly. There is no clutter, no angst ridden loops jostling for your attention. In this instance the tracks are spacious and clear, leaving you ready and able for a safe launch and a pleasing journey.
The samples and cut ups used on the collection are quirky and amusing, yet entirely appropriate with a sincere absence of gimmick. The beats are complex without ever seeming fussy and the production is never ‘noodly’, its just honest to goodness fun.
The lazy bounce of tracks like ‘Onshu’ have a multipurpose feel to them. At home on a dancefloor or back home after the night is over. Others like ‘Zum Zum’ are slightly reminiscent of Mylo’s debut but you can’t help but think of any similarities as unintentional because this collection doesn’t seem to have a shred of self consciousness about it. It is what it is and it simply doesn’t care.
Tracks like ‘What Day Is It’ shift things up a gear with cheeky clicky drum kicks and gently twisted acid splashes. All narrated by someone who ‘doesn’t know where he is’. Lovely. Then there is ‘Fun with a K’ which brings a sneaky little hint of carnival atmosphere into the mix with its docile lolling beats it reminded me a little of Tom Tom Club (this would mix nicely into ‘Genius Of Love’).
Tracks like ‘Tooting Warrior’ have a slightly more ambient leaning but with just enough going on downstairs to keep things interesting, almost pop but never quite committing itself (and that’s OK). A slightly darker moment does appear with ‘Ode To Jack’ with its slightly macabre ‘ping pong’ samples and lower register.
By the time you get to tracks like ‘Late Developer’ there’s the slightly camp swagger of mixing a brooding bassline with handclaps and woodblock sounds. It’s the audio equivalent of watching a fat bloke take to the dance floor only to see that he can actually move quite well. ‘When The Rain Falls’ is a brief watery chilled respite before the daftness of ‘Ummyjig’, this is prime material for throwing weird as fuck shapes to due to its beats and bass mixed with a nice shot of clang and clatter. The closer for the album is the cheeky and ever so slightly saucy ‘Boondongle’. As pleasing as anything else on here with its syncopated beats and spot ‘sexy vox’ effect.
In conclusion what you’re getting here is a rock solid dance music that turns up without fuss or fanfare but promptly steals the show from under the competitions noses. Warm in sound and bright in production this is one record you should own. That’s the thing about dance music, it transpires that it isn’t actually a bad thing to turn up wearing a smile after all.