[19 July 2012]
Electronic music can often be a miserable affair. Sometimes artists equate electronic with experimentation to the point that the outcome can be somewhat hard listening. These albums can be almost like an endurance test to see if you can get to the end. Happily, this record is nothing like that. DAT Politics’ Blitz Gazer is fun with a capital “F”.
This French electro-pop duo comprises of Claude “Datgirl” Pailliot & Gaetan C. Collett who have been in existence as (an influential) electronic outfit since 1999. There are obvious parallels with Daft Punk and Kavinsky in the sense that they come from the same part of Europe and their focus is on heating up the discotheque. However, to say that they sound like the aforementioned acts doesn’t quite nail it. Their quirkiness alone probably brings them closer to the work of Sébastien Tellier. These are idiosyncratic pop tunes that aren’t really meant to be critiqued, only danced to.
Pop music really never sounded so “pop” and disposable. It is lacking substance for sure, but who on earth would care about that? This is music for dancing and grinning like a shot fox while you are at it. You will find evidence of some electronic experiments but there is absolutely nothing po-face about this record. The reason for this is simple; it has the 1980s writ LARGE all over its smiley dancey little face. You can’t help yourself but enjoy it.
With Blitz Gazer DAT Politics have taken the cheesier elements of ‘80s dance music (Giorgio Moroder, Harold Faltemeyer, etc.) and poured on some freshly-melted fromage of their own. The more serious songs like “Sourcloud” are blissfully short (clocking in at under 2 minutes) for the rest they throw in all kinds of fun stuff for example the Star Trek “red-alert” noises on “Switch On” (also by the way one of the more serious tunes).
For the most part we are treated to instrumentals with the occasional sampled voice or barely indecipherable person-noise (like in the fabulously daffy “Hypnotricks”) but every once in a while there is something like a real song. However, when this happens (like on “Melt Down”) it appears to have happened almost by accident, as if the band have dropped their guard for a brief moment or two. No worries, they soon regain their composure and return to bonkers ascending chords and tunes that have slightly jammed feel about them. It is these moments that make the record really worthwhile.
What’s interesting is that by all accounts this album is a more mature and subdued affair than in previous outings. Phrases such as “sugar-fed optimism” have been used to describe the band’s output in the past. As this album is clearly something of a hyperactive teenager of a record, one shudders to think what the band might have sounded like going through the “terrible twos”. What must this pair sound like live?
All in all if you are looking for a record to liven up your party or even to combat a long and desperately boring drive Blitz Glazer should be your weapon of choice. A perfect pop performance.