Last summer, in my review of Digitalism's Idealism, I posited that the Hamburg duo suffered from "maximalist repetitious self-dispersal." And even though anyone who has seen their scorching live performance in the past 24 months would tend to disagree, it's hard to say things have changed drastically in the duo's camp, especially when they keep re-releasing new versions of "Zdarlight," "Pogo," and "Jupiter Room" every chance they get. The question for me, then, going into their entry into Kitsuné's brand new Tabloid mix series, was quite simple: do these guys have anything else to say?
Opening the mix with Mawkish's "Baba," a song that can only be described as awkward filtered acid jazz, might be a bit off-putting at first, but the track selection that follows is so varied, fast-paced, and all-encompassing you can forgive the false start. What you can't forgive, though it is understandable given that Digitalism is a production duo first and foremost, are some of the sketchy transitions throughout. For instance: when you have two highly melodic tracks like Hercules & Love Affair's "Raise Me Up" and Holy Ghost!'s "Hold On," you should really avoid having them on top of each other for a long period of time, unless you're aiming for an unflattering twirling mess.
That said, there are moments of brilliant mixing as well. The way Digitalism's "The Pulse" slides into Midnight Juggernauts' "Ending of an Era" is actually quite impressive. The same is true of the telescoping of Zombie Nation, The Human League, and Boys Noize-affiliate Shawdowdancer, which connects the invisible dots between German techno, vibrating electro, and vintage '80s pop. The funky Jonzon Crew's "Space Cowboy" from 1983 splits the mix in two, introducing a cheesier, poppy second half with cuts from I Scream Ice Cream, the campy Calvin Harris, The Presets (their "Yippiyo Ya," which is slightly atrocious on their recent album, somehow sounds bearable in the context of this mix), and the perky CSS rework of The B-52's "Funplex": seriously, this is the most fun you can have without turning into an early '80s band with Botox-enhanced haircuts.
After In Flagranti, Late of the Pier, and WhoMadeWho's indie-tinged disco sequence, Digitalism then chose to close the album with their own "Underwater Sonar Club" edit of Idealistic track "Echoes", a song itself echoing "Jupiter Room"'s own inescapable massiveness. It's a gratifying end to a surprisingly gratifying album. It won't do much to change the impression that the duo only have one trick, but at this point in their (still short) career and Kitsuné's own history, it's a trick you won't mind falling for once again.
Tracklist01. Mawkish - Baba
02. Muscles - Sweaty (Shazam Rmx)
03. Zongamin - Tunnel Music
04. Hercules & Love Affair - Raise Me Up
05. Holy Ghost - Hold On
06. Zombie Nation - Filter Jerks
07. The Human League - The Things That Dreams Are Made Of (Original Dub)
08. Shadowdancer - Cowbois / with Spank Rock - Put That Pussy On Me (A Capella)
09. Digitalism - The Pulse (Der Die Das Rmx)
10. Midnight Juggernauts - Ending Of An Era
11. The Jonzon Crew - Space Cow Boy
12. I Scream Ice Ccream - Closing Time Closing In
13. Siriusmo - Diskoding
14. Calvin Harris - Colours
15. The Presets - Yippiyo Ya
16. Hey Today ! - If I Was Wonder
17. Hot Chip - Shake A Fist
18. The Kills - Cheap And Cheerful
19. The B 52 - Funplex (CSS Extended remix)
20. Proxy - Dance in Dark
21. Decalicious - La Favière 76 (Larz Chapter remix)
22. In Flagranti - Business Acumen
23. Late Of The Pier - The Bears Are Coming (Metronomy remix)
24. WhoMadeWho - The Plot
25. Digitalism - Echoes (Digitalism's Underwater Sonar Club mix)