A stultifying 'cool' surrounds [B]GusGus[/B]....
A stultifying ‘cool’ surrounds GusGus. Like all self-conscious end-of-the-century ensigns, they’ve embraced the multimedia aesthetic, with fingers in pies as various as fashion imprints, club promotion, remix work and film-making.
No surprise. Listening to ‘This Is Normal’ is like watching an MTV ident: even as it whirls and flashes in front of you, there’s still a feeling that a lot of very well-dressed people have sat around in airy, minimalist rooms discussing every aspect of the product.
Only current single ‘Starlovers’ and the electric crunch of ‘Snoozer’ give the impression that GusGus can sound sexy and vulnerable, without having to worry themselves over the next synth effect.
For the most part, the album cruises by on sleek 4/4 beats, tipping a wink to Moloko and Presence, but rarely drifting from a blueprint – laid down by Underworld on ‘Dubnobasswith-myheadman’ five years ago – which is beginning to sound dated.
Fortunately, the human element amidst all these loops and throbs proves to be something of a saving grace. Main singer Daniel Agust‘s voice is reminiscent of the camp divas who’d croon over those early acid house grooves, yet there’s also an edgier timbre to it which brings a much-needed sensuality to many tracks. He’s the heart of GusGus; now they just need to find a soul.