- It's a tough thing to follow up a record as big as How to Spread Lies, and yet Roman Flügel managed it well enough with Brian Le Bon. In fact, if there's one thing to be learnt from observing the German producer over the years, it's that he shows as much skill for shedding skin as he does penning hits. Over and over, his strange, idiosyncratic productions continue to surprise and delight.
As much as anything else, it's Flügel's talent for writing quirky, memorable hooks that buoys his work. "Iron Curtain," for instance, I feel like I've heard before. So much so that I did a quick search to make sure it wasn't just a re-release of some obscure, older production. On paper, this sounds like another track suffering from cookie-cutter syndrome, but in reality, it's both familiar and fresh, something most producers can only dream of. Also laden with bleeps, "Dishes and Wishes" nonetheless doesn't have this same quality. It's unnecessary though; a bright, electronic trumpet dances flirtatiously with two different arps in an eminently memorable fashion. It's the same kind of hook which made How to Spread Lies so desirable.
On the flipside, things get more cinematic, and less playful. "Lovedancing" is like a more restless Kraftwerk, Moroder or Jarre piece, with vintage chord stabs, tinny snare hits and that cosmic, spooky atmosphere. "Mulish Crease," meanwhile, is understated and likely to be overlooked. Compact hats and claps underpin yet more arpeggios, which patter elegantly along, occasionally coaxed to a squeal by Flügel, ala Deetron's remix of "Groove la Chord." There's no doubt that Desperate Housemen is a worthy follow up to its predecessors. The strange thing is that while technically, Flügel doesn't do anything particularly hard to emulate, he's the only one doing it. Isn't that part of what art's about, though?
A1 Dishes & Wishes
A2 Iron Curtain
B2 Mulish Crease