Zachary Cole Smith has overcome a multitude of problems to make this intensely powerful album
Ready For The Floor
And after ‘Shake A Fist’ arrived on a white label DJ–only release late last year clearly not yet ready for the floor (seeing as, after two minutes of jungle beats, there was a 30-second bit where a ’70s sound engineer on bad acid gave us a tutorial on studio techniques that only Nigel Godrich would ever dance to), here’s the rightful heir to ‘Over And Over’’s louchetronica cyclist’s cap. “Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it now”, Alexis Taylor – a man whose demeanour suggests that electro’s gain is competitive chess’ loss – deadpans in his geography teacher-ish reedy gasp, and ‘it’ swiftly turns out to be ‘make a noise like early Depeche Mode playing Guitar Hero II on the Xbox at Studio 54 in 1981’.
Which makes the scintillating scene-quake of ‘Ready For The Floor’ both forward-thinking and retro simultaneously; ie, utterly, definitively now. Like an octopus breakdancing, it squiggles and squelches, interchanging dancefloor cliché with an affecting tale of communication breakdown: “Instead of crawling up the wall/Why don’t you open up, we’ll talk/I am ready, I am ready for a fall”. And that’s Hot Chip’s downbeat brilliance encapsulated; a charmed melding of disco deviance and kitchen-sink kitsch not seen since the Pet Shop Boys had to sing for their rent. Number One, guys.
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