[4 June 2010]
Full disclosure: my tolerance for neo-electro, or nü-rave, or whatever the hell you want to call it, began and ended with Justice. A handful of artists who may fall under these umbrella terms are still great—Hot Chip comes immediately to mind—but understand that they’ve remained so via genre dilettantism. The category itself, loosely defined by minimized acid house textures and hyper-compressed, white noise rhythms, is both redeemed and limited by its simplicity. The unanimous gushing over Sleigh Bells’ recent LP suggests that this big ‘n’ dumb thing still holds a lot of appeal for a lot of people, but not for this critic. A recent video from Mr. Flash, a member of the French-tested, Vice-approved Ed Banger label, seems to exemplify this: all T&A, bright lights, and shock value, but little reason to turn on the song on its own.
Color me surprised, then, when a friend tipped me off to Huoratron, and the high-concept film clip for his new single, “Corporate Occult”—and I liked it! Like, I could actually imagine LISTENING to it! The severe-looking Finnish producer’s trick seems to be going for slight complexities—- an arrhythmic drum sample here, a demonic chipmunk scream there - where his kin may be content to turn up the volume.
The very NSFW video that accompanies it, directed by the undoubtedly talented Cédric Blaisbois (also responsible for the Mr. Flash video linked above) is similarly deceptively trite. What I first dismissed as yet another attempt to outdo Chris Cunningham is… still derivative of that iconic director, but it’s hard not to crack a smile at the outlandish violence. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say that it plays like a cautionary tale about going home with the kinds of chicks you’re likely to meet at a neo-electro/nü-rave/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it show.
To close, I’ll leave you with a quote from my friend, on Huoratron’s pseudonym: “Huora means whore by the way. one of emancipative things i have been to has been their gig when the whole audience was shouting ‘huora, huora, huora’ together. It’s like a postmodern church.”