Simian Mobile Disco
Delicacies


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rudy K. STAFF
December 7th, 2010 | 24 replies | 9,919 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Simian Mobile Disco meet Anthony Bourdain, create beautiful music together.

The term delicacies originally derived from the Latin adjective delicates, meaning “giving pleasure, delightful [or] pleasing” (thanks Wikipedia!). When I think delicacies personally, I think fine dark chocolates, a well-aged cut of prime rib from the neighborhood deli, maybe the occasional dalliance with caviar if the checkbook is open and I’m trying to get laid. It’s an odd choice, then, for Simian Mobile Disco’s third proper LP to be entitled Delicacies, with the concept of each track being named after a particular delicacy from the group’s travels. Delicacies, mind you, that one would be hard pressed to be called “delightful,” unless you’re interested in ammonia-scented fermented shark (“Hakarl”) or a Sardinian favorite, sheep milk cheese filled with live insect larvae (“Casu Marzu”). When you consider that Delicacies is actually a sharp left turn into minimalist tech-house form after last year’s guest-spot ridden pop misstep Temporary Pleasures, it makes a bit more sense. This isn’t the Simian Mobile Disco of electro fame, the one that became ubiquitous with that damn Justice remix blaring out of every blog reader’s stereo circa 2006. It’s an album mired in its own dark, sometimes off-putting production juices, relishing in the slight tweaks and glacial buildups one may only appreciate on the dance floor.

Lead-off track “Aspic” is catchy, what with its trademark Simian emphasis on bass and the very clearly defined (particularly in regards to what follows) rhythm, but it’s not something the average raver would find promotes casual fist-pumping. “Nerve Salad” is even more of a challenge, built as it is almost entirely around a skittering insect beat, ghostly synths and an odd array of kitchen-sink sounds that hiss and squeal around the relentless thud of the bass. This is an acquired taste, much like the dishes these tracks are named after. But the joy is in that acquisition, that delving into layers and layers of excruciating detail and painstaking production that Simian Mobile Disco craft into full tracks. Whether it is through the midnight tint of synths and spartan handclaps that dominate “Sweetbread” or the Kraftwerkian bleeps and bloops of closer “Ortolan,” each track here brings something new to the trained ear. Considering most tracks here resist falling into a rut, avoiding the bleeding effect and same-y sounds of many minimalist records, is an admirable accomplishment in its own right.

This isn’t easy listening or music to soundtrack your next party too, unless you’re ingesting a considerable amount of psychedelics. It also isn’t one that immediately satisfies; too often Simian Mobile Disco build up to a great climax and then deflate it without a hint of excitement in the execution, taking it apart as slowly as they constructed it. There’s always that sense that if Simian Mobile Disco had just upped the ante a bit more, given into their electro past and dropped an epic beat, that we might be looking at Delicacies as the new Daft Punk if Daft Punk hadn’t gone all Inception on us. It’s occasionally frustrating, and to be fair contributes to most of the tracks’ unnecessary running time. But Delicacies doesn’t want to be accessible, and it certainly doesn’t want to be easy. It takes it’s time and goes where it wants to go, and in doing so leads Simian Mobile Disco to some seriously dark and uncharted waters. The fact that they made it out on the other side not looking like poseurs but with a formidable new aspect to their sound instead is something any dance fan should be excited for.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2010



10306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

take that deviant

Digging: Literature - Chorus

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2010



17204 Comments


so it's like No Reservations in music form. sweet idea. i neeeeeed this

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
December 7th 2010



7062 Comments


i never got into attack decay, but i might pick this up to give it a shot, nice to see a review up for it.

DonniSharK
December 7th 2010



466 Comments


Techno? In my Mobil Disco? Surely this cannot be. Attack Decay Sustain Release is awesome, didn't really "get" Temporary Pleasure outside of Audacity Of Huge.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2010



31047 Comments


take that deviant


I actually forgot this was coming out

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

SleepyJack
December 7th 2010



198 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is sooo much better than other stuff I've heard from these guys

Enotron
December 7th 2010



7695 Comments


NOOOOOOO RESERVAAATTTTIOONNSS

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
December 7th 2010



3765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I reallly like this. Recalls the darker moments of ADSR, which is what made that album. And these guys are still second to none when it comes to crafting subtle beats.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

HighandDriving
December 7th 2010



3269 Comments


WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS!

YOULL NEVA BE ALLONE AGAIN AH COME ON

nicolauz
December 7th 2010



62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed with Donni. Attack was awesome, newer not so much. Will give this a try.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
December 7th 2010



3765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agghhh this is so good.

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2010



15556 Comments


This doesn't seem like my kind of thing but maybe i'll listen to a few sample clips or something. Great review as always.

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 8th 2010



10592 Comments


Yeah, could be interesting. I'm always looking out for that 2010 album that will take me by surprise and become a potential AOTY. Alas that's probably wishful thinking...

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2010



10306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks sowing

Romulus
December 8th 2010



8423 Comments


maybe the occasional dalliance with caviar if the checkbook is open and I’m trying to get laid.


classiness all over the place

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 8th 2010



10306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it exudes right out of the pores

emmy
December 9th 2010



205 Comments


i came for the bourdain and got a review that started with a definition

StrizzMatik
December 10th 2010



3182 Comments


I'll check this out.

The song titles, album title and cover are definitely about cannibalism btw

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2010



10306 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol i could see where you'd think that

PuddlesPuddles
December 13th 2010



4772 Comments


does this exude right out of the pores?

Need to get this



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