Where's Our Piece Of The Groovy World?
dPulse Recordings, 2006
REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/21/2006
Dance music can be very strange. Unlike rock music that is meant to be listened to seriously, dance music assumes two completely opposite identities. The first type is meant for clubs and the actual music is not as important as the hypnotic beats, which can be quite meaningless and completely boring otherwise.
Then there is a darker side, meant for more serious listeners, which has the same depth and substance that rock music does. Where’s Our Piece Of The Groovy World? is a 22-song double-disc offering by 3K Static that offers almost everything modern dance music has to offer, thus lying in the fringe between frivolous club music and moody rock-influenced experimental electronic music.
CD 1 of this 2-disc set kicks off with “Give Us Even More,” a non-assuming dance track with no vocals and a groovy 70s disco beat with a simple yet catchy keyboard hook. “Second Coming,” the following cut, is aggressive electronica with a slight tinge of 90s techno. “Ready For War” is a rap song from the early 90s with the fire of the hardcore gangsta rap of early Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, which includes some really stinging vocals and politically explicit lyrics. Also of note is “Old News,” a simple dance track that has a bit of jazz influence resembling closely some stuff from Massive Attack’s Protection.
Funk legend George Clinton makes an appearance on this CD on “Catchphrases,” which is an album highlight. This superb psychedelic cut has a cool reggae vibe and a sexy guitar lick, and music consisting of actual drums, guitars, and bass. After “New Fabulists,” another aggressive electronica song exuding energy, what follows is a series of hardcore house music tracks; cuts that have long repetitive hypnotic beats that go nowhere. In contrast to the interesting variety and the unpredictability of the first half, the remaining half of the disc is somewhat disappointing.
CD 2 follows the same pattern, with some very interesting music in the first half but lacking the same intensity and adventurism in the second half, where the record sinks into its house music shell. “So, So Sad,” the opening cut, is another great example of the band’s weird experimentalism. A trip-hoppy cut which is as creepy as Portishead, “So, So Sad” sees the band giving the keyboard a break again and making noise with conventional instruments. The creepiness on this cut is provided by Annette Strean’s vocals, whose brilliant singing sounds like a yearning PJ Harvey; undoubtedly, this is the best track between both discs.
“A Novel Of Passion And Ruin” is sensuous, slow and very ambient, while “See What I’ve Done” follows somewhat the house music path, and musically consists of nothing more than repetitive beats for 8 minutes straight, but has some really dark (and cheesy) vocals that keep up the spunk in the song. “Astral City” is another laid-back and sensuous trip-hop cut with beautifully changing layers while “Really Going Down” is just six minutes of sheer brilliance and manically sonic beats. The final experimental track, “In A Dream,” has a feel of 70s disco with a very cool funk kick and some drunken vocals that give it a sexy appeal.
Groovy World's constant resignation to traditional house music kind of dampens the magic created by the other, more experimental tracks. There is such a huge difference in the two halves of each CD that the first halves of both discs could be combined as an experimental dance record and the second halves could be combined as a die-hard house music record; two separate albums for two different kinds of audiences. In any event, the disc has something for everyone who appreciates dance music in general.
[For more information on 3K Static visit http://www.3kstatic.com/]