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Wow Twist

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Album Review

Operating on the principle that the most experimental thing an experimental electronic group can do is go pop, DAT Politics' Wow Twist doesn't just pop, it explodes with songs so bright, so immediate, and so weird that they're virtually fluorescent. Like their other labelmates on Chicks on Speed's self-titled label, DAT Politics excel at mischievous, nimble electronic pop that thumbs its nose at everything. On Wow Twist, they've never sounded cuter or more crazed; not to trivialize their music, but the album's skipping beats, old-school synths, and digital munchkin vocals conjure up images of incredibly cute, pixilated characters blowing each other to bits, or what Crazy Frog would sound like if he teamed up with Mouse on Mars (particularly on the delightful cyber-babble of "Dizzy Zip"). Indeed, there's a strongly childlike feel to Wow Twist, one that borrows from the giddy hyperactivity of Plone rather than the wistfully innocent stylings of Múm or the beautifully decaying nostalgia of Boards of Canada. Oddly enough, the Day-Glo immediacy of tracks such as "Viper Eyes," "Turn My Brain Off," and "My Toshiba Is Alive" is so intensely cheery and manic that it often ends up sounding more deranged than some of DAT Politics' earlier, darker material. While Wow Twist seems like it should be in danger of becoming monotonous, the album's sheer liveliness — and the occasional slow song like "Wow Signal" — keeps things fresh. It's clear that DAT Politics had a lot of fun making this album, and that sense of fun translates to their listeners without feeling in-jokey. Wow Twist's highly concentrated cuteness and mischief might rub more serious-minded electronic music fans the wrong way, but it does serve as a welcome reminder that not all forward-thinking music has to be somber. And, at the very least, Wow Twist could double as an incredibly hip kids album.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

DAT Politics is a Lille, France-based laptop group that developed from the split of Tone Rec. Producing glitch-inflected IDM that's occasionally melodic and often aggressively noisy, a range that's often kept in check by a sinister sense of humor, the group's releases have come out on a number of labels, including Mille Plateaux, Tigerbeat6, A-Musik, FatCat, and their own Skipp imprint. As far as significant full-length releases are considered, Plugs Plus was released on Chicks on Speed in 2002,...
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Wow Twist, Dat Politics
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