Thought that I would wade in with my view on RAM, its been on the internet for a week and came out today (and I’m very happy with my heavy weight double gatefold vinyl.) A lot of the naysayers have complained that the critics are being far too generous with such a poor album, well its not, after having seven days to fully digest this LP it really is a masterpiece in the making. Homework and Discovery were both seminal albums, even Human After All which garnered a muted reception on release - and its live counterpart Alive 2007 - managed to popularise dance music in the mainstream U S of A, (Despite the Detroit and Chicago guys inventing Techno and House almost 30 years ago) and with this new record you’re going to get all the copycats trying to reach the bar the Parisian duo have set. That is of course if they can afford a real studio and real musicians, for all its pros, there are some things Ableton cannot do. Thankfully Fatboy Slim himself Mr Norman Cook says that RAM is so good that he cannot compete and wont make a new album. So you know, every cloud and all.
So what can be said about this album that hasn’t been said already well …
Even though the album is not “mixed” it does evoke the work Tom Moulton did for Gloria Gaynor on the continuous mix a-side of Never Can Say Goodbye the album just seems to perfectly flow, in particular the segue between Touch and Get Lucky as the former interlopes the sound of the latter. Giorgio by Moroder is a stroke of genius that evokes his work on the soundtrack of Midnight Express in particular The Chase, the second “big” track on the album for me is Touch once I got over its Beatles and The Manhattan Transfer qualities it really grew on me, such depth and so much going on. It was a certain Larry Heard who was occasional producer of TMT, who later went on to record as House pioneer Mr Fingers, I somehow feel this sound could be on purpose by DP a wee nod if you will. Of course it could just be my imagination too! And its no surprise that Paul Williams (The Carpenters songwriter) collaborated with the band given that other middle of the road staple Barry Manilow was sampled on the bands second album. Instant Crush also evoking that mawkish AOR sound, which cannily enough they got Julian Casablancas to do vocal duties, a man whose band was nothing but 100% AOR after their debut Is This It. Finally to all the freaks and philistines who don’t like real instruments and arrangements and complained there were no samples on RAM well there are on the last track. The Sherbs “We Ride Tonight” a hefty chuck of the intro too (the rest of the track more AOR gold a rip off of Because the Night) oh and a clip from the Apollo 17 mission.
The album is a ode to “dance” music, the better your knowledge of music of the past then the more receptive you are to its charms. The under 20 crowd really seem to be into the track with Panda Bear, it works in the mix but would be forgettable as a single. But at least its got the kids hooked.
Some of you might think that the album is shit, that’s fine I suppose. But I suggest listening through *without skipping* at least twice. Oh and if one more Keyboard Warrior type tries to compare DP to Jamiroquai (cause of the disco riffs - personally I’m not hearing any Stevie Wonder knock offs) or say there have been no good albums since Kid A *and you’ve got the cheek to call DP over hyped nonsense* I will personally hunt you down and beat your keyboard* around your head half a dozen times.
* should have said fire extinguisher and got another DP ref in there!
Sidenote - after googling a picture of Paul Williams I can honestly say that Toby Jones was born to play this man
RA Motherboard: “collage of incidential music from the erotic vampire film Italy failed to produce” ermm I think the term you are searching for is Giallo! Ennio Morricone and Pino Donaggio among others composed a lot of these films scores. Though Motherboard is more evocative of the work of Goblin’s Claudio Simonetti and the score for Dario Argento’s Tenebrae, the lead theme funny enough was sampled by fellow Frenchmen Justice on the Cross LP.
One or a couple of people fuck you over and you start to become disenfranchised with it all, be it styling, DJing, or love. Racking up the bad experiences that make you want to jack it in …. But it only takes one person to make you remember *how good* the good times were. To inject the passion back. To believe again.