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most impresses me, and has become my favorite song of all time. With a guitar line inspired by the Durutti Column (an early post-punk group that pioneered the dream pop and post-rock genres), sampled claps, and Willmott’s bass line as a foundation, Crause sings his poetry innocently while electronics flourish behind him, speaking of a spiritual experience and the difficulties of communicating feelings in human interaction. He then sings about how true emotions can be conveyed in simple eye contact and how in the end, the purest thing that we can do is smile. And with that, Crause launches into a guitar solo that sounds like pure ecstasy, as chords go flying while the guitar becomes more and more chaotic in distortion, over the background of angelic vocals and harps, climaxing with a steady rhythm of chords before fading out. Released towards the tail end of 1994, It’s a Kid’s World is a microcosm of Disco Inferno. The title track is straight-up pop, using a brilliant drum sample from Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life.” “A Night on the Tiles” is a plunderphonics piece, completely constructed from samples, which tells the story of a bar brawl. The final song, “Lost in Fog,” starts with the audio recording of a cosmonaut burning up in the atmosphere, an eerie intro to one of DI’s spaciest tracks, as the members all play sampled instrumentation to create the sonic atmosphere of being high above the earth. Technicolour, however, shows the band in total noise pop mode: firm pop structures made by distorted guitars form the basis, with samples used to highlight pieces of the puzzle rather than serve as malformed parts, like with the fireworks in “I’m Still in Love” when Crause sings the song’s title. I often have trouble describing to others what exactly I ‘look’ for in my music, but recently I came up with a phrase for it: beautiful melancholy. If a band can capture depression and beauty simultaneously, in both a musical and lyrical sense, they’ve done well in my book. Joy Division did it best with songs like “Transmission,” through Ian Curtis’ longing cries for contact in the face of social isolation mixed with amazing lyrics and Bernard Summer’s beautiful guitar lines that seem to float above the rest of the song. The National regularly capture it with the Dessner twins’ dreary guitar lines, Matt Berninger’s often-mournful baritone that sings lyrics of social and romantic frustration, along with the lush orchestration that often accompany them. Disco Inferno could easily capture this beautiful melancholy too, but with much more variation than even The National or Joy Division could produce. Whether they were engaging in the brilliant pop of Technicolour and “The Last Dance,” the pessimistic dread of Summer’s Last Sound and D.I. Go Pop, or the heart-aching beauty of “Second Language” and “Footprints in Snow,” Disco Inferno were always able to capture the very best and worst of human nature in their art. 4

Vinyl Tap Spring 2013  

WCWM 90.9-FM's semesterly music journal, featuring concert write ups, album reviews, and more.

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