My Favourite Robot / Unplugged
My Favourite Robot Records / Released November 2011
What does it sound like?
Those hoping to find a release in keeping with MTV’s series of live performances will be disappointed, as one of Plain & Simple’s favourite labels of the year caps off a triumphant 2011 with four tracks that were made with the assistance of equipment that needs to be plugged in. Pedantic wit to one side though it’s a package set to leave things on something of a lackadaisical high, so there are no complaints from us.
In contrast to very good but very house sounding releases from the camp of late we start on a tip that’s very much inspired by electro and electronica, which is pretty much how things continue. Asleep At The Wheel steps out brandishing sharp snares and waves of synth, creating a soundscape describable as a little like John Carpenter, only with a greater focus on the dancefloor. Less referential of Moog and Roland pioneers, but certainly in tune with the contemporary underground pop popularised by the likes of Matthew Dear, is New Addiction, a shuffling, shoegazey affair packed with melancholy that serves as track number two.
Electro isn’t electro without a proper breakbeat though, at least that’s what someone probably once said, and when it comes to an EP it would be unfair to pigeonhole the entire package if broken kicks weren’t present. Thankfully Less Is More uses exactly that drum pattern, stepping out with tracking hi-hats, stabs of melody and a whole lot of spiralling background noise. And, finally, Feast Of Famine lays a rolling, chugging bassline down beneath heads down organ stabs, suggesting subtlety and mood, before an almighty acid 808 emerges, creating a more upbeat vibe while taking us closer to Garnier or Wink territory.
Where would I dance to it?
On the floor in more forward thinking rooms.
What highlights can I expect to hear?
Although there’s not a bad outing on here our love of style-changing, shape-shifting work means Feast of Famine just pips its EP-mates to the post. The fact it’s also going to get the biggest reaction inside a club also helped fight its corner.
Why should I pay for it?
Consistency on the part of this label really deserves to be acknowledged.
Where can I buy it?