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We Are a&C

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Album Review

Who says computer-generated music lacks soul? Or passion? Or emotion? Or depth? Or sex appeal? We Are A&C is a joyful dance record on the surface, but beneath the layers of synthesizers, drum loops, and various programs, Arling & Cameron are multifaceted music fanatics who wear their collective musical heart and mind on their sleeves and fearlessly borrow from a boundless landscape of sound and rhythm without coming off as derivative, retro, contrived, or the least bit synthetic. The horn blasts on "B.B. Electro" are straight out of Memphis blues (a homage to Mr. King perhaps?). The melodic hooks in "5th Dimension" exude psychedelic power pop. The pentatonic riffs in "Dirty Robot" could easily translate into heavy metal fist-pumping anthems. Guest singer Agi's pouty vocals in "Freedom Right Now" beckon the long-lost era of new wave disco. The hot-blooded syncopated beats characteristic of Latino funk are afforded a fresh digital makeover in "Coconut Conga." Despite all the genre hopping, it's Leoana Philippo's sultry reading of "Born in June" that proves to be the disc's stellar moment mixing lounge and Brill Building songcraft. Unlike most electronica, We Are A&C is song-driven rather than a collection of grooves and noises stitched together, and therein lies its timeless pop appeal.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Although dance duo Arling & Cameron are based in Amsterdam, perhaps their closest musical affiliation lies in the eclectic late-'90s Japanese lounge/dance/pop scene. Gerry Arling and Richard Cameron first got together in 1994, when they threw a so-called "Easy Tune" series of parties in Amsterdam; singles culled from the shows were released on Cameron's own Drive-In label, and a compilation, The Best of Easy Tune, was issued in 1996. Arling & Cameron scored a Dutch hit that year with "Aloha,"...
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We Are a&C, Arling & Cameron
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