Shit Robot - From the Cradle to the Rave
That title is a heck of a way to set out your stall. But Dubliner Marcus Lambkin has as much right as anyone to claim he has devoted his life to dance music, being the flesh-and-blood face of Shit Robot, co-founder of the influential Plant Music label and a mainstay of DFA Records. He’s roped in a host of contributors from pal James Murphy’s stable for this full-length, looking to build on the success of a handful of releases under the Shit Robot moniker over the years.
A shrill turn from Juan Maclean in the best disco tradition puts an interesting spin on the pounding electro-house of 'Grim Receiver', Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip’s trademark soulful croon is put to excellent use on the twirling, romantic robo-funk of 'Losing My Patience' and LCD Soundsystem chanteuse Nancy Whang delivers a show-stopping turn on the effortlessly cool disco number 'Take ‘Em Up'. It’s former Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up man Ian Svenonius who walks away with the gong for best guest turn though, his borderline-unhinged vocals providing the tough, old-school techno of 'Simple Things' with a rough blast of edge.
'I Got a Feeling' is a track so insistent it’ll have the dead up on the dancefloor, a blistering concoction of classic Chicago house synths and intense clattering percussion, with that all-important dash of cowbell thrown in for good measure. Add to the mix the slick, melodramatic peaks and swells of the Italo-aping 'Answering Machine' and sumptuous James Murphy-featuring closer 'Triumph' - a slow-burning, understated number that builds along similar lines to LCD’s 'All I Want' from earlier this year - and you have a vital, vibrant collection from start to finish. This full-length release has been a long time coming, but the consistent high quality levels back up that slow and steady approach - it's certain to be there or thereabouts when fans begin to argue about the identity of the year's best electronic album.