Bent : Downloaded For Love

Nottingham duo's Internet-only offering

Napster: nice while it lasted, wasn’t it? But with the file-sharing Internet pirates press ganged into service to major-label giant Bertelsmann after a good old court-of-law keelhauling, it’s looking more and more likely that download-hungry web surfers are going to have to rely in future on the net community’s charitable few.

Step forward, then, Bent. Seems that this sampler-wielding Nottingham duo are so prolific that their record company can’t be arsed to release everything they write, hence ‘Downloaded For Love’ – a web-exclusive ten-track album, available a track a day from, for the very attractive price of bugger all. Of course, with their stash of

car-boot sale vinyl and a terrifying penchant for the queasiest of easy-listening records, Bent boys Simon Mills and Nail Tolliday probably think the dreaded phrase ‘not available

in the shops’ is a hallmark of exclusivity. ‘Downloaded For Love’, you see, is the real idioteque music –

a bumbling slice of moronica that commandeers samba rhythms, distant Theremins, and burping synth-lines for its drooling cause.

But while there’s something perennially great about clever people making stupid music, ‘Downloaded

For Love’ presents too much of the idiot and precious little of the savant. ‘Beauty And The Beast’ is more like

the soft-focus Euro tat of Renee amp; Renato’s ‘Save Your Love’ than the smouldering romance of Serge Gainsbourg, while the hee-hawing ‘Donkeys In Heaven’ makes Skint bad-taste merchants Space Raiders sound like rocket scientists.

Only a churl would turn down such charity. Frankly, though, it’s a good job they’re giving this music away.

Louis Pattison