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Yes Is More

Danton Eeprom

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Album Review

As the '80s as general concept take on more of a generally talismanic reference point for newer musicians to pick and choose from, it's perhaps not surprising that electronic pop and dance musicians are finding some of the lesser-known but still generally familiar approaches of the time a new frontier to work in. Danton Eeprom has appeared on a variety of singles and collaborations already but his 2010 debut full-length is something else again, often feeling like an alternate reality where strangely quirky electro-rock via acts like Station to Station-era David Bowie didn't become a cue for AOR smoothies in the end — or alternately, where Gary Numan's shift to a self-consciously warmer sound circa Berserker didn't end up causing him to trip over himself. The elements on songs like "Thanks for Nothing" have all the gated drums and airy synth textures and general neon-lit bar moves one could want, while other touches like the brass breaks on "Give Me Pain" and the near power ballad synth melody and slow drumming opening of "Vivid Love" further call the past to mind. Yet for all this, Yes Is More is not a retro album but a recombination of past and present — the bubbling, quick-paced breaks and textures on a song like "Stilettos Rising" is more post-glitch than of-the-time Miami Vice, while the lengthy "Confessions of an English Opium-Eater" has the kind of crisp neo-EBM punch one would expect from Motor or Kasper Bjørke. Meanwhile, there's a full-on nod to even earlier inspirations thanks to a cover of the Sister Sledge's "Lost in Music" featuring Erika Forster of Au Revoir Simone on vocals, turning the anthem into more of an expression of regretful surprise, while in the most unexpected move of all, concluding track "What's a Balloon But a Bag of Air" is a guitar pop instrumental with beats and chimes that is almost Mogwai goes dance — a striking way to wrap up a quietly inventive album.

Yes Is More, Danton Eeprom
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