CHOICE CUT – The Units ‘Connections’


The Units / Connections


Opilec Music / Released July 2011

What do San Francisco synth punk band The Units, Chris Carrier, Alexander Robotnick, and Todd Terje all have in common? OK, stop being stupid; the answer is obviously not simply ‘they make music’.

The real million-dollar response is they all make damn good music, so if you put them together in some strange decade spanning melting pot of Moogs and punchy snares the result should be something pretty special. As is the case with this overbearingly expansive triple pack (supported by a host of digital only remixes and some free downloads available to anyone handing over hard earned cash for physical or digital versions).

So The Units are widely regarded as one of the originators of Stateside electronica, and as such this collection should have a very broad appeal, given the fact it’s made up of far-reaching contemporary remixes. On the one hand we’re given the type of upbeat, bouncy synth workouts that populated Andrew Weatherall’s Fabric mix album (with plenty here that should appeal to the legendary jock), but then there are darker techno moments abound, and times when the synthpop soundtrack is so good half of the post-millennium skinny jeans wearing, knob fiddling indie kids should feel a prang of jealousy.

Just listen to Passions of Patterns (here reworked by DJ Andryu and Cloned In Vatican), a piece of work so damn catchy and impossible to resist you’d think it was by Human League or some other genre deities. Meanwhile Musiccargo’s remix of Canniblas nods to a futurist Beta Band, looping whispered vocal accents to develop a rhythm unto its own, while warm melodies score the peripheries- like some powered experiment in Earthyness and humanism, if that makes a jot of sense. And one only needs to hear a small chunk of Sare Havlicek’s High Pressure Days re-think to realise why this album is essential, as keyboard plods along complete with timely key changes while a cut up and barely decipherable chorus nods to the anthemic lyrical delivery of David Byrne.

With so many great examples saturating these discs it seems unwise to continue referencing individual tunes, pursuing that path will ensure we’re here all day. Of course the dub techno of We Need A Doctor’s Son (or, more accurately, the Danny Ocean version) should be mentioned- it’s rolling, engrossing and a little bit spooky. Similarly, Premier Bang’s re-reading of One Man drops in with menacing baritone and car alarm hooks, a combination that, when paired with a drugged up chant, makes for quite a suspenseful ride. Ultimately though almost everything on here is worthy of individual appraisal, and, musically if not within the context of a dancefloor, there are few moments that don’t impress, meaning not buying is simply not an option.


The Units / DJDownload