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Comprising a sixteen-strong army of collaborators, Füxa’s tenth full-length album, Dirty D, is at once a sonic celebration of creativity, and a rapturous denunciation of some of the demons of modern society. Following on swiftly from 2012’s Electric Sound of Summer (itself released after a ten year hiatus), Dirty D is a characteristically euphoric record – a largely electronic set which shifts from solarised hysteria (‘Sun is Shining’) to crepuscular elegance (‘Razzamatazz’) over the course of its dozen tracks.
The dirty ‘D’ of the title could refer to a number of disquieting facets of today’s society – the dominance of Disney, the illusion of democracy, dereliction – and, in contrast to Disney’s sickly saccharine supremacy over our children’s imaginations, Randall Nieman and his collaborators offer us an animated aural narrative which, in its playfulness and gracefulness, allows for multiple readings on the anxious social issues of our days. Dirty D’s cast of characters (which includes pedal steel hero BJ Cole, Ann Shenton of Add N to (X), and Judy Dyble of Fairport Convention) have been cherry-picked by Nieman to ensure a diversity that never feels disjointed: a genuine sonic democracy.
While Electric Sound of Summer pivoted around a number of cover versions, Dirty D comprises mostly original tracks. The opener, ‘The Blue Barracuda’, sees Nieman join circuit boards with Suki Ewers of Mazzy Star, Oliver Kersbergen of Sleepyard and Gaute Storsve of Ignore, conjuring a delicate, aquatic backdrop to accommodate Judy Dyble’s vocals. The track acts almost as an aural departure lounge before the soaring lift-off of ‘Reverse’ which, with its sister track ‘Forward’, combines Nieman’s synths and BJ Cole’s lap steel guitar to produce a pair of astonishing Country & Galactic ‘space waltzes’.
1) The Blue Barracuda
5) Shout Out Loud
6) Sun Is Shining
7) Dirty D
12) Stand By Me/ DD