The first characteristic of Extra Pleasure that any listener will notice is that all six of these tracks (five of them original, one a remix) are instrumental. If they are what one would assume they are—excised tracks from the previous LP’s recording sessions—the exclusion is no small wonder: Simian Mobile Disco’s major move was to fashion that album as a sort of hipster-house all-star vehicle. The result was, aside from standout tracks like “Bad Blood”, featuring Hot Chip’s inimitable Alexis Taylor, and the tongue-tied “Cream Dream”, a collection of tepid dance-pop that paled in the shadow of the go-for-broke maximalism of Basement Jaxx’s Scars.
The sinister electro-funk of “Belvedere” and “Are You in the Picture?” will therefore be refreshing for those who sang in the chorus of backlash. Opener “Flea in Your Ear” shimmers, but everything else here recalls the kind of sweaty, pounding, labor-of-love Detroit techno that was so serious it was even political (see: Drexciya). That Simian Mobile Disco is capable of this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who liked breakthrough single “It’s the Beat”, which seemed channeled in from another planet where Tony Humphries was king. “Babaghanoush” might strike some as repetitive—even brazenly so, considering it ends halfway through only to take a deep breath and restart with heavier bass and noisier synths—but isn’t that the point? Between this and Temporary Pleasure, this is the better dance party at generous 41 minutes, and sometimes, that’s all that really matters.
// Notes from the Road
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