13 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Star of Love is not only an impressive full-length debut from the Spanish (by way of London) “folktronic” group Crystal Fighters; it’s extremely well crafted. The superb sequencing and the crisp, sparkling production let the quartet and their wide-ranging ideas shine. Where they might have blurred genre boundaries into a messy pastiche without a narrative, Star of Love blooms like a bud captured in slow motion, morphing from one stage to the next with utter grace. Traditional Basque instruments (the percussive txalaparta, which is built from wooden blocks, plus acoustic guitars, woodwinds, and tambourines) give way to electro-clash and dubstep flavors (synths, reverb, heavy bass, vocal chants), while on some tunes a hip-hop soul is palpable. The group’s singles (including their smash club hit “I Love London”) aren't the only stars here; “I Do This Everyday” is a relentless, M.I.A.-like stomper that will put your Zumba routine to shame. Meanwhile, the acoustic twitterings of “Plage” and “At Home” are as lovely as a summer frolic in an Alpine meadow. Basquetronica? Sure. Why not?

EDITORS’ NOTES

Star of Love is not only an impressive full-length debut from the Spanish (by way of London) “folktronic” group Crystal Fighters; it’s extremely well crafted. The superb sequencing and the crisp, sparkling production let the quartet and their wide-ranging ideas shine. Where they might have blurred genre boundaries into a messy pastiche without a narrative, Star of Love blooms like a bud captured in slow motion, morphing from one stage to the next with utter grace. Traditional Basque instruments (the percussive txalaparta, which is built from wooden blocks, plus acoustic guitars, woodwinds, and tambourines) give way to electro-clash and dubstep flavors (synths, reverb, heavy bass, vocal chants), while on some tunes a hip-hop soul is palpable. The group’s singles (including their smash club hit “I Love London”) aren't the only stars here; “I Do This Everyday” is a relentless, M.I.A.-like stomper that will put your Zumba routine to shame. Meanwhile, the acoustic twitterings of “Plage” and “At Home” are as lovely as a summer frolic in an Alpine meadow. Basquetronica? Sure. Why not?

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