To help understand why the closest thing to cool kids playing electroclash since that Kill Yr Idols documentary confused a generation is coming out on Olde English Spelling Bee, the label responsible for releases from James Ferraro, Mouthus, Ducktails, Julian Lynch, you need to understand the greatest band known to mankind, SwimJams, an Oklahoma bedroom jam band for whom Olde English Spelling Bee professed to be releasing a DVD box set in the spring.
Alas, there remains no sign of said box set, but we can still enjoy video footage of the magic that OESB label Toddfather deconstructed for me this morning as a “combination of incompetence and enthusiasm and pajama-wearing [that] will never be approached by any other musical acts.”
The bedroom lunacy:
Back in April, the email went out to the press in hopes, I assume, that someone would grab the bait, and profess that the emperor wore clothes. Don't know how that panned out. But it did help us understand the charm of Greatest Hits' own brand of lunacy.
The other clue to why Greatest Hits (not Best Hits) appear with such a reputable roster of experimental princes and bedroom maestros is that, lucky for all evolved, Greatest Hits have a very free will and regardless of whether we clip them with an electroclash hashtag, they're just as much from the other dance generations. (Who cares. I googled “electroclash”, and look at this funny website I found, that bolds-up sentences like “…the Electroclash Movement, is emerging; this time around, musicians are fusing punk-inspired dance music with an interest in fashion and art…” Cutting edge, that's right! 2001!)
No, Greatest Hits have nothing to do with A.R.E. Weapons, but neither are these guys as frigid as cold-chill-wave contemporaries, and let's not even go to the witch hunt Salem construe, this isn't close. Pause for a moment then, and consider the last time you heard what this “sounds like”. The fun part is they named themselves so self-consciously that it's a chemistry lab of pop compounds from all over the dance chart: new wave quotes, Suicidal tendencies, bad Arlene's Grocery shows where Hot Topic goths don't want to read blogs, Jock Jams, some early Oughts dance parties with people dressed in tin foil… Moroder, pre-Diddy mid-90s Puff Daddy, and the galaxy-wide abyss that separates Washed Out and “I'm So Excited”. A Heisenberg Principle of lo-fi dance crack.
Sort of like saying, “These guys sound like Michael Jackson and The Cure.” Yes, you're ineffably a little closer, but then you're also even farther away.
Of course, we could have called it “scruffy dance music” and left it at that, but then we'd be leaving out the part of “Danse Pop” that reminds us of Jamiroquai.
Download their new 7-inch/EP at Soundcloud.