Music

Chloé: Live at Robert Johnson

Expect no grimey dusty blues here, just dirty, sexy, slick beats.


Chloé

Live at Robert Johnson

Label: Live at Robert Johnson
US Release Date: 2009-01-20
UK Release Date: Available as import
Website
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

Naming your dance club Robert Johnson is a bold proposition. For starters, the famous bluesman of the namesake died penniless, underappreciated, and overly disregarded, which is not likely a future any futurist would wish on their electronic music establishment. That the club in question is located in Offenbach, a suburb of Frankfurt, miles away from public transportation doesn’t fare well for it in this regard. In addition, the name presupposes that the bold sounds emanating from said space will transfer and translate the spirit of an insurmountable legacy to a wildly divergent style of music. After ten years at it, the now world-famous Robert Johnson is celebrating its decennial by releasing four audio documents of these attempts, with the first coming from rising Parisian star Chloé.

Chloé’s mix is not afraid to traverse that time period. It boldly avoids being stuck in time or space, its most vintage track being Larry Heard’s classic Chicago house anthem “Spinal Tap” -- 11 years old now. The mix starts oddly with Gundrun Gut’s lethargic organ-fueled “Rock Bottom Riser”, whose unusual chord progressions and asynchronous, practically-unsung vocal harmonies belie a lack of confidence in the seeming uplift of the chorus “I am rock bottom riser/ I owe it all to you”. This is cemented by the transition to the warm tones of DJ Koze’s “Mariposa” which fades the vocals out as if they were negligible, or boring, which they kind of are. The mix begins to pick up steam immediately after though. By the time it reaches its midterm act with Samim and Michal’s elliptical and obsessively detailed “Circles”, which includes sly references to “It Takes Two”, “Pump Up the Volume”, and probably a dozen other things, the party is really cooking. Overall, the mix doesn’t necessarily make the case that dance music of the past 10 years is as Robert Johnson as Robert Johnson would have you believe, particularly when compared to the ten years that preceded it. But for the unacquainted, you’ll be more likely to believe it than before you heard this disc.

7
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

The 60 Best Albums of 2007

From tech house to Radiohead and Americana to indie and everything in between, the 60 best albums of 2007 included many of the 2000s' best albums.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Solitude Stands in the Window: Thoreau's 'Walden'

Henry David Thoreau's Walden as a 19th century model for 21st century COVID-19 quarantine.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Will COVID-19 Kill Movie Theaters?

Streaming services and large TV screens have really hurt movie theaters and now the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered multiplexes and arthouses. The author of The Perils of Moviegoing in America, however, is optimistic.

Gary D. Rhodes, Ph.D
Television

Fleabag's Hot Priest and Love as Longing

In season two of Fleabag, The Priest's inaccessibility turns him into a sort of god, powerful enough for Fleabag to suddenly find herself spending hours in church with no religious motivation.

Music

Annabelle's Curse's 'Vast Oceans' Meditates on a Groundswell of Human Emotions (premiere)

Inspired by love and life, and of persistent present-day issues, indie folk band Annabelle's Curse expand their sound while keeping the emotive core of their work with Vast Oceans.

Music

Americana's Sarah Peacock Finds Beauty Beneath Surface With "Mojave" (premiere + interview)

Born from personal pain, "Mojave" is evidence of Sarah Peacock's perseverance and resilience. "When we go through some of the dry seasons in our life, when we do the most growing, is often when we're in pain. It's a reminder of how alive you really are", she says.

Television

Power Struggle in Beauty Pageants: On 'Mrs. America' and 'Miss Americana'

Television min-series Mrs. America and Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana make vivid how beauty pageants are more multi-dimensional than many assume, offering a platform to some (attractive) women to pursue higher education, politics, and more.

Hilary Levey Friedman
Music

Pere Ubu 'Comes Alive' on Their New, Live Album

David Thomas guides another version of Pere Ubu through a selection of material from their early years, dusting off the "hits" and throwing new light on some forgotten gems.

Music

Woods Explore Darkness on 'Strange to Explain'

Folk rock's Woods create a superb new album, Strange to Explain, that mines the subconscious in search of answers to life's unsettling realities.

Music

The 1975's 'Notes on a Conditional Form' Is Laudably Thought-Provoking and Thrilling

The 1975 follow A Brief Inquiry... with an even more intriguing, sprawling, and chameleonic song suite. Notes on a Conditional Form shows a level of unquenchable ambition, creativity, and outspoken curiosity that's rarely felt in popular music today.

Music

Dustbowl Revival's "Queen Quarantine (A Home Recording)" Is a Cheeky Reproach of COVID-19 (premiere)

Inspired by John Prine, Dustbowl Revival's latest single, "Queen Quarantine (A Home Recording)", approaches the COVID-19 pandemic with wit and good humor.

Books

The 2020 US Presidential Election Is Going to Be Wild but We've Seen Wild Before

Americans are approaching a historical US presidential election in unprecedented times. Or are they? Chris Barsanti's The Ballot Box: 10 Presidential Elections That Changed American History gives us a brief historical perspective.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.