The soundtrack to the summer’s best parties finds dance and indie nuzzling up like easy lovers
Blame Franz Ferdinand. Since they first uttered their mission statement: “We want to make music girls can dance to”, indie and dance music have begun to collide like The Bravery and The Killers over the last electric-blue eyeliner pen at Boots’ make-up counter. Manumission’s Ibiza Rocks has persuaded the likes of Babyshambles and Maximo Park to trade their customised badges for disco biscuits, Bloc Party and The Futureheads are remixing themselves into a brave new future and LCD’s James ‘The Daddy’ Murphy is managing simultaneously to be the coolest person in rock and dance. Indeed, the lines between the glowstick and the non-stick world have been sliced, diced, mashed up, dyed bright neon and turned into one swirling mirror ball in the sky.
This infectious splicing has clearly hit nuclear noisenik three-piece Test Icicles like a red-hot eureka bolt. Instead of stopping at a mere two genres, they sound like they’ve taken every one there ever was, covered them in sugar, cooked them at a high temperature, ground them up and scoffed the results.
Like ADD triplets, they lurch from high-octane art project (singer/guitarist Sam Mehran occasionally looks like he’s in the death scene of an Oscar Wilde play) to chest-slashing intensity ( ‘Boa Vs Python’ is Tom Vek being electrocuted by Kele Bloc Party while the Beastie Boys look on screaming with laughter at every jolt). It’s a ferocious mix and hard to take your eyes off, like a beautiful car crash designed by Tracey Emin.
Like the balm after the storm, Cut Copy’s set is a stylish mash up. They’ve taken the best bits from dance and rock and pixilated them into glorious Technicolor, like the last ever mixtape as compiled by Daft Punk. But don’t worry – student-looking twosome Tim Hoey and Mitchell Scott have traded in any robotisms for a big human heart that will swallow you whole. Combining the depth of prime New Order with a uniquely Antipodean sunnyness, they magically transform Fabric into the Haçienda circa-1989 and the likes of ‘Time Stands Still’ and ‘Going Nowhere’ shine brighter than The Magic Numbers on vast amounts of Prozac.
In the wake of the loved-up gurnfest, the Germanic soundscapes of White Rose Movement crash down like little sparks of white lightning from the sky. Combining Hoxton ennui with big, sexy basslines is a tricky one, but they just about pull it off. While tracks like ‘Cruella’ and the itchy ‘Girls In The Back’ shimmy like the latest beautiful starlet with nothing interesting to say, recent release ‘Love Is A Number’ saves the day, running unskirmished through the depthless valley that was electroclash into a field marked ‘single of the year’. So it’s clear: dance and indie make great bedfellows. Time to drop your fanzines and join the conga line.