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Bristol University

Somehow, the notion has pulsed through our society that they make spiritually euphoric music, when, in fact, [a]Faithless[/a] are The House Lite Family...

Bristol University

Morphic resonance. It's a theory that fiercely upholds the idea of the collective consciousness, a concept that lurks on the far fringes of scientific respectability - unsurprisingly, when it maintains that if you teach rats in New York to, say, juggle their food pellets one Monday afternoon, by Friday lunchtime New Delhi rats will have mysteriously picked up how to do exactly the same trick.

You can just bet it's an idea that Faithless go for with scented candles blazing. Partly, because it's the kind of child-of-the-cosmos nonsense that keeps people who call themselves Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz entertained for hours, but also because it would be a way of explaining their immense - and immensely perplexing - popularity. Somehow, the notion has pulsed through our society that they make spiritually euphoric music, when, in fact, Faithless are The House Lite Family; a Euro-hash of disco anthems designed for listeners who secretly wish they could be entirely made of fleece because it's so comfortable and stylish. Juggling food pellets is scarcely less impressive.

It's not that they're evil - but then, that's largely their problem. This is a benign cult, the feng shui of dance, where the steep synth arches and streamlined whitewashed riffs of 'Reverence' and 'She's My Baby' promise nothing but prosperity and togetherness. While Massive Attack prepare for their apocalypse by wringing cold-sweat devotion from their followers, in the Church Of Faithless, everyone waves their hands in the air like they're Tony Blair and affects to believe that 'God Is A DJ'. Never mind that it's hard to accept an omnipotent deity would rather hang out in scuzzy club toilets than Notre Dame, it's all too much on the vicar-with-acoustic-guitar side of religion, where unity prevails and everything is nicely cleaned up in the end.

Undoubtedly, singer and frontman Maxi has the charisma and the skin-tight yellow shirt to carry it off (and carry the audience away, given the piercingly lustful whistles that greets his line about "tearing off tights with my teeth") and it's touching that the backing singers dance for the sheer love of it, yet only the damp-sheets churn of 'Insomnia' and the Brechtian blues of 'Angelene' corrode the sterile chrome veneer.

As for God, last anyone heard he'd sold his decks and was running an electrical shop in Chepstow. He was, he said, disillusioned with the whole game.

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