Saturday, 23 May 2009

Quad Throw Salchow

London based 3 piece girl/boy/boy new-no-kraut-wave-electro multi-genre indie-disco band Quad Throw Salchow release their debut album Speed through Tummy Touch on 6th July.

The label describes the album with this surreal blurb:

“QTS album arrives on the back of a golden wave of Ice skating inspired weirdness - slow grooves disco dance & electro all in your tiny face”

That’s a far more apt description that it would appear on first reading. Firstly, a salchow is a figure skating jump off the back inside edge landing on the back outside edge of the opposite foot after one or more rotations in the air. This band throw four at you – in graceful bullet-time slow motion. There is a gliding quality to the way the rhythm moves along, there is an enormity and intimidating aspect to the presence of it that does make you feel small – and it is weird. One suspects a Quad Throw Salchow is not at all possible on a real rink, in real life. But we are here to deal with music, not with real life.

The concept of Hauntology has been written about a lot recently (possibly off the back of a lot of Joy Division nostalgia), and it’s ghostly presence can be felt here, not just in the cavernous gravity of some of the basslines, but also in the haunting, jarring vocal style of singer, the ESG bass rhythms, slowed down and scattered sparingly with dry snare shots – spelled out for the listener in a knife twisting finale of a slowed down version of The Game Is On - latterly a cruise through a derelict cityscape; formerly a spring-heeled block rocker, alive and kicking it. QTS chose to have few elements within their sound canvas with a strong emphasis on the shading of each of them; a sophisticated minimalism that switches between greyscale and full colour depending on your angle of perception rather than their presentation.

Enigmatic and mysterious in the extreme, the band's web presence is minimal, their WEBSITE sparse, their MYSPACE ethereally blank - a black background with only 179 friends and no comments, their release history just two compilation appearances: a Tummy Touch and a DFA/Rong Music and a blog post announcing The Unwelcome Guest 7” in 2007.

The band is listed thusly:

K. Doyle - Bass
O - Vox/Words
J. G. Drake - Synthesiser

I suspect Karen O imagines she is as edgy as this O, and as relevant. What the YYY’s missed when they threw down their electro record was any sense of enduring personality – House is devoid of the individual, Electro is distinctly not – albeit an individual aloof and remote, but present all the same. Not to say that this is an electro record. It is and it is not. This album has a rich depth of the tangible and presents many sides to itself across the ten tracks – a result perhaps of the spontaneous writing style they employ in a debt to the Surrealist’s automatic style ...according to their label anyway. But it does not fit and start between it’s characters, it smoothly morphs and warps along a course of logical progression. Despite being fucking weird. It could even be a party record, and will be no doubt, if it lands amongst the right hands. It is tempting to say this is the album both the YYY’s and The Horrors tried to make, but it’s no genre exercise or attempt at anything – it simply, and beautifully simply at that, is.

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