Midnight Funk Association : Coffee Shop Rules

Old school techno. But kind of nice...

Midnight Funk Association : Coffee Shop Rules

That old journalistic cliché 'timeless' can be glowing praise in the correct


circumstances - usually when writing about guitar music, where an inherent


shackling to tradition makes a brisk skate across rock eras a relatively


simple task. Dance music, however, is still supposed to aspire to


progression. So the fact that the debut LP from Brit-techno duo Midnight


Funk Association could have been made any time in the last ten years isn't a


terrific compliment.








Not that there's much wrong with Mark Broom and Dave Hill's splicing of


speaker-damage breaks, cerebral hip-hop flourishes and tunnel-visioned


loops. 'For The Hips' and 'Sexy Way' sound primed to induce instantaneous


orgasm in big rooms the length of the nation. While for pure


arena-straddling, sci-fi techno thrills, 'Last Time' is exemplary - the only


thing missing, in fact, is the Hartnoll brothers' songwriting credit on the


sleeve.








Scant innovation, then, and little progression apparent from their days as


early-'90s Mo' Wax mainstays. A few moments -- like 'Way Back', a twisted


convocation of deep-space humming and depth-charge breakbeats - suggests


great things still to come from MFA. But it took them nearly a decade to


create 'Coffee Shop Rules', and the result feels less like writers' block


than sleeping sickness.





Noel Gardner

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