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[B]Gusgus[/B] are still naively cerebral enough, clever and dumb enough to believe that pop culture is something to mull over, work hard at together, rather than something that's just plugged and m
Gusgus are still naively cerebral enough, clever and dumb enough to believe that pop culture is something to mull over, work hard at together, rather than something that's just plugged and marketed at us in a cynical spirit of commercialism no-one even bothers to conceal any more.
So tonight's gig has the feeling of a pleasant jolt of discipline. The various members (who include two directors, an actor and a DJ) perform against a backdrop of images, ranging from Mick Jagger at Hyde Park to atomic explosions, and deadpan, open-endedly ironic slogans about God and 'normality' which have the feel of a compulsory brainwashing exercise, while 19-year-old Hafdis leads the exhortations to dance in the no-slacking-at-the-back spirit of a pedantic games mistress.
And that's fine. Though sceptics have suggested that their latest material sounds like they've only just received the first batch of house 12" imports in Reykjavik, they've reconstituted the genre with their own, skewwhiff sensibility, so that it comes back at us with a refreshingly glacial and tangential feel.
The spiked 'Acid Milk', for instance, provides its own, perfect description, 'Teenage Sensation' is at once shiny and sharp, while 'Very Important People' is deeply sarcastic deep house, caustic and glossy. Admittedly, the full-on pace and ironic tone of the set begins to pall towards the end, so the encore, the decelerated 'Dominique', comes as a welcome comedown.
Overall, though, an ice-cool workout for suckers for punishment, mental and physical.
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