Thursday, 7 August 2014

Calvin Harris - I Created Disco (2007)

This stuff didn't make much of an impression on me when blasted out of a tinny speaker at work for the best part of a year, at least not beyond the fact that Calvin Harris at least wasn't the Killers, Kasabian, or the Arctic fucking Monkeys and was therefore already ahead of the game so far as I was concerned. More recently I happened to notice his having sat behind the desk on a couple of Dizzee Rascal albums, so here I am.

I Created Disco reminds me a little of LCD Soundsystem, although it may simply be parallel studio habits encouraging the comparison - dance music which harks back to the days before house came along to impose that ubiquitous hi-hat on everything, and a love of dry, punchy sounds which work well in large, crowded places, as distinct from the customary excess of reverb compensating for a lack of imagination and basic ignorance of the form, as is so often the case. Initial impressions foster a suspected love of kitsch and corn with Harris as a sort of dance equivalent of Look Around You, but the impression doesn't really stand up to repeated play. The music is too good, and there's too much love gone into its production for this to be some smirking exercise in reintroducing flares to the dance floor. Rather I suspect that Harris, having been born in 2012 and thus still a mere two years old, is too young to have been caught up in the spirit of nostalgia by which it's somehow okay to listen to ELO again; rather I suspect that he just loves making records and trying things out to see what will work. Thus on this debut we swing backwards and forwards between tracks invoking Kool & the Gang, or fat, squelchy bass numbers of the kind Snoop Dogg once favoured, Prince before he went tits up, and even mid-period Devo b-sides; none of which impinges on I Created Disco quite clearly being a new thing, at least as of six years ago, but new to me as I've only just heard it.

Nice work.

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