Miami Horror: Illumination

RIYL: Daft Punk, Midnight Juggernauts, Air’s Moon Safari

Some like to deride Daft Punk for how little they contribute to their own songs – for a clever YouTube clip of Daft Punk’s songs, and the songs they stole to create them, click here – but the world of electronic music, and pop in general, is much, much better off for having them in it. In the beginning of the 2000s, dance tracks were largely instrumentals for speed freaks, with jacked-up BPMs and no soul. Thanks to Daft Punk, the song has returned to the forefront. Even better, thanks to their song “Aerodynamic,” some acts have begun dabbling in prog. A terrifying concept on paper, but to date, it’s working quite well in execution, and the unofficial home for this techno-prog sub-genre appears to be Australia, of all places. Two years ago, the Midnight Juggernauts delivered an alt-dance classic with their debut Dystopia, and now Melbourne’s Miami Horror jumps into the fray with Illumination.

Musically, Illumination feels like a brainstorming session between Daft Punk and Nile Rodgers and (the late, great) Bernard Edwards. Bubbly synth lines (think Supertramp’s “The Logical Song”) intertwine with scratchy guitar riffs, along with a healthy dose of the wah-wah pedal, all laid on top of a four-on-the-floor Daft Punk beat. The back half of the album is a bit more experimental, as the band delves into some more complex chord sequences. “Grand Illusion” sounds like “Aerodynamic” had it been produced by Giorgio Moroder, and “Illuminated” could easily pass for a B-side from Air’s Moon Safari sessions. Smack dab in the middle is “Sometimes,” which sounds like New Order re-imagined as the Studio 54 house band. There is no surefire can’t-miss single (though “Echoplex” comes close), but that’s actually one of the refreshing things about the album; most electronic acts have that one tune that dwarfs the others, but Miami Horror has a more balanced attack. Will definitely keep your next party hopping. (Car W.S. 2010)

Miami Horror MySpace
Click to buy Illumination from Amazon


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