- Greco-Roman is essentially a side project that struck it big. It's run by Joe Goddard of Hot Chip, manager Dom Mentsh and former !K7 and XL man Alex Waldron—people who certainly have other things to work on. But what might have begun as a mere distraction has turned into quite an empire. Disclosure and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are among their discoveries (both have since been snatched up by major labels), and the label has released career-bests from Goddard ("Gabriel") and Hackman ("Close"). A look back at their successes, We Make Colourful Music Because We Dance In The Dark neatly separates the label's output into pop songs and dance tracks over two discs. A comprehensive—and, as a result, imperfect—retrospective.
Disc One starts out strong with Goddard's still-fresh anthem "Gabriel," and also features "Close," Disclosure's "Boiling" (sounding restrained compared to their later work), and Baio's tropical postcard "Sunburn Modern." It's an incredible run, but it's hampered by the disc's second half, which highlights Grovesnor's amateurish "Drive Your Car," two more Goddard tracks with unforgivably awkward vocals and Valentina's "Ladders," where the UK singer can barely carry her own tune. The unlikely highlight is Tirzah's "I'm Not Dancing," an upcoming release and one of the only ones here that doesn't sound like it's gunning for mainstream radio.
The second disc includes a few more originals (though only Disclosure's massive "What's In Your Head" lives up to the heights of the first) plus a selection of remixes, most of which are fairly understated. Four Tet's rework of Joe Goddard is just soft enough for home listening, and Roman Flügel turns Valentina's "Wolves" into one of his recent jazzy murmurs. Dixon takes the cake, shaping Disclosure's carefully-rising "Boiling" into an unrestrained ten-minute banger that feels totally out of place here. It's all the more welcome for it.
In the end, We Make Colourful Music Because We Dance In The Dark feels more like a progress report than a celebration. Condensed into one disc, it could've been a knockout, but there's too much chaff and too many also-rans. With a little more time it's easy to imagine them as the hit factory they aspire to be. Judging from Colourful Music, they're at least halfway there.
CD1 - Colourful Music
01. Joe Goddard feat. Valentina - Gabriel
02. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Garden
03. Disclosure - Boiling
04. Baio - Sunburn Modern
05. Roosevelt - Sea
06. Joe Goddard & Boris Dlugosch - Step Together
07. Grovesnor - Drive Your Car
08. Tirzah - I'm Not Dancing
09. Enchante - Swaynes Lane
10. Valentina - Ladders
11. Joe Goddard - Lemon & Lime (Home Time)
CD2 - Dancing In The Dark
01. Millennium - ICU
02. Valentina - Wolves (Roman Flugel Remix)
03. Joe Goddard - Apple Bobbing (Four Tet Remix)
04. Baio - Sunburn Modern (Session Victim Remix)
05. Disclosure - What's In Your Head
06. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Move On
07. Joe Goddard feat. Valentina - Gabriel (Soulwax Remix)
08. Disclosure - Boiling (Dixon Rework)
09. Joe Goddard Ft Mara Carlyle - She Burns (Leo 10. Invisible Remix)
10. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Waulking Song (Lone Remix)
11. Hackman - Satisfy
12. Valentina - Ladders (David E Sugar Remix)