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Damian Schwartz

Party Lovers

(NET28; US: 28 Oct 2008; UK: 17 Nov 2008)

As far as debuts go, Party Lovers is confident and accomplished. Maybe that’s because Spain’s Schwartz has already honed his skills with the requisite series of one-off releases for various labels. Still, Schwartz’s sense of control over these carefully-crafted house grooves is impressive. Subtle shifts in style range from the percussive, atmospheric “Get Into”, to the more dissonant, Detroit-influenced “Tito Estuvo Aqui”, to the Latin-flavored piano house of “Were You There?”. Only “Raw”, which goes heavy on the slap bass, fails to connect. Otherwise, drumbeats pulse and electronic hi-hats wind and unwind in a manner reminiscent of Richie Hawtin, and vocal snippets whisk in and out of the mix. This is party music, sure, but it’s for a specific type of party, one where everyone’s dressed in expensive suits and cocktail dresses, and no one seems to break a sweat when they dance.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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