by Hobey Echlin
Its 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, Darkdancers acid-washed, 80s retro-tinged cuts inject a much-needed personality and humor into electronicas usual stone-faced, buzz-cut, its-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. "Ive 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 Conts Euro-trash schtick cant 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 electronicas Gary Glitter-Numan, hes got to make tracks that show hes thinking bigger more Kajagoogoo than Chemical Brothers. Otherwise, were left with a bunch of Yaz-zy B-sides making us yearn for some Kajagoogoo A-sides.