Mulletronica

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It’s a precarious thing when an electronic musician tries to keep the starball fun going while venturing off the dance floor into the bigger leagues of, in the case of Les Rhythmes Digitales’ Darkdancer, classic synthpop. To its credit, Darkdancer’s acid-washed, ‘80s retro-tinged cuts inject a much-needed personality and humor into electronica’s usual stone-faced, buzz-cut, it’s-all-about-the-music finality. Les Rhythmes’ mainman Jacques Le Cont (an Englishman with a French pseudonym) wears his mullet proudly on "Soft Machine," his sleazy synth grind backing an equal parts Rick Springfield and Blade Runner-soundtrack retro-kitsch chorus. "I’ve got Lucifer rising in my head," he sings, earnest and corny enough to make Corey Feldman blush.

But elsewhere, tracks fail to rally the necessary depth of field to actually turn into three-dimensional songs, and Le Cont’s Euro-trash schtick can’t pull the bumpy Muzak melody and horn breakdown of "Music Makes You Lose Control" into any sharper focus, while "Hypnotize" just bores.

If Jacques wants to be electronica’s Gary Glitter-Numan, he’s got to make tracks that show he’s thinking bigger – more Kajagoogoo than Chemical Brothers. Otherwise, we’re left with a bunch of Yaz-zy B-sides making us yearn for some Kajagoogoo A-sides.

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