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!!! (CHK CHK CHK)

!!! (Chk Chk Chk)

Let It Be Blue

    The band’s ninth record, Let it Be Blue, takes that feeling of constant, radical transformation to new, untapped zones. It’s a record of sparse dance music. The kind of stuff you want to put on loud, let loose, go to the bar to get a drink only to abandon your plans because the song that just came on was too good not to dance to. Let it Be Blue is a computer record, but it doesn’t feel like it. Featuring production from Patrick Ford, Let it Be Blue is the product of file sharing, trading stems, song particles, little ideas on their way to being fully realized dance tracks. It was conceived during the past two years, with dreams of future dancefloors very much on the brain. The resulting 11 songs are some of the band’s most production focused offerings to date. They’re crystalline, full of sub-bass and drums. It evokes visions of clubs where a concoction of Dembow and acid house play at volumes so loud your ears hurt and you forget what day of the week it is. In other words, it’s a !!! album. It makes you freak out a little bit.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: The distance-working scenario here has clearly helped !!! hone their sound down into perfectly produced micro-segments of rhythm and melody, with their ninth album being easily their most clearly-defined and beautifully realised dancefloor statement. It's bold and full of swagger, as they always are but this feels like the work of a band determined to only get better, and to keep pushing things forards while retaining the sound that made them so distinctive in the first place.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. Normal People
    A2. A Little Bit (More)
    A3. Storm Around The World (feat. Maria Uzor)
    A4. Un Puente (feat. Angelica Garcia)
    A5. Here's What I Need To Know
    A6. Panama Canal (feat. Meah Pace)
    B1. Man On The Moon (feat. Meah Pace)
    B2. Let It Be Blue
    B3. It's Grey, It's Grey (It's Grey)
    B4. Crazy Talk
    B5. This Is Pop 2

    !!! (Chk Chk Chk)

    Wallop

      "Wallop", the band’s eighth LP, is another stellar addition to the wildly impressive catalog they’ve built over the course of nearly two decades and stands as a testament to their hardworking approach and ceaseless desire to push things further. Recorded over the past year in lead singer Nic Offer’s Brooklyn apartment, the band picks up where 2017’s "Shake The Shudder" left off, further exploring the fringes of dance music with a focused edge and a care-free spirit.

      "Wallop" sees friends from across the spectrum appearing on a number of tracks, including Liars frontman Angus Andrew, Maria Uzor of British dance aesthetes Sink Ya Teeth, and Glasser's synth-pop wizard Cameron Mesirow, who all join Offer and !!! co-vocalist Meah Pace on this barn-burning party of a record. With an array of producers lending a hand - including Cole M.G.N. (Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Julia Holter), Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck), and longtime collaborator Patrick Ford - "Wallop" was eventually stitched together to reflect the colorful, body-moving tapestry that its end result represents.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: It's not a party until !!! show up, and they've arrived just in time to soundtrack this new release week. Surprising twists and turns abound (exactly as you'd expect), lots of day-glo melodies and huge effervescent melodies bolstered with huge 80's 'verb. Textbook !!!.

      TRACK LISTING

      LP:
      A1. Let It Change U
      A2. Couldn't Have Known
      A3. Off The Grid/In The Grid
      B1. Serbia Drums
      B2. My Fault
      B3. Slow Motion/Slo Mo
      C1. $50 Million
      C2. Domino
      C3. Rhythm Of The Gravity
      D1. UR Paranoid
      D2. This Is The Door/This Is The Dub

      CD:
      01. Let It Change U
      02. Couldn't Have Known
      03. Off The Grid
      04. In The Grid
      05. Serbia Drums
      06. My Fault
      07. Slow Motion
      08. Slo Mo
      09. $50 Million
      10. Domino
      11. Rhythm Of The Gravity
      12. UR Paranoid
      13. This Is The Door
      14. This Is The Dub

      Recorded at the band’s home studio in Brooklyn, produced by longtime collaborator Patrick Ford at Taaffe Palace, and mixed by dance luminaries Phil Moffa, Joakim and Matt Wiggins, the album features a cast of changing singers from Lea Lea, Meah Pace, Nicole Fayu, Cameron Mesirow and Molly Schnick.

      The album title is a fancy way of saying “shake it off and dance your cares away.” !!!’s post punk roots mean the band will always be pushing forward to new sounds but their tastes remain grounded in some form of funk and increasingly in various electronic dance styles. The idea for the new album was born from jamming in Barcelona, and spending months afterwards cutting those recordings into loops to form new songs. Back at home in Brooklyn, lead singer Nic Offer poured over his roommate’s disco breaks. To push their boundaries, the band implemented the policy of more liberal sampling techniques as well as using whatever keyboard was available with the attitude of “there's no such thing as a bad synth," using sounds they wouldn't ordinarily use. This also includes having multi-instrumentalist Rafael Cohen’s daughter featured on their song “What R U Up 2day” and the use of horn on “R Rated Pictures.” Thematically, "Shake The Shudder" reflects a band that has been together for twenty years. In the band’s early days, they had the typical punk attitude, pointing fingers at everything that’s going wrong in the world to cover up for their own inner turmoil. Now the band, older and wiser, are more comfortable with being more vulnerable, looking inwards instead of reacting outwards. To them you do this through friends, music, dancing, lovers… for "Shake The Shudder", the sound of protest can be a march or it can be a sick groove paired with some short shorts.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Everyone's favourite punk-funk party monsters !!! return with more groove based fun on Warp, celebrating 20 years of off kilter disco riffery with an expansive and expressive set of bassy booty shakers. This time round the ensemble invite breakbeat and footwork into their polyamorous play-pen, ready to wreck romper suits the world over.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. The One 2
      2. DITBR (Interlude)
      3. Dancing Is The Best Revenge
      4. NRGQ
      5. Throw Yourself In The River
      6. What R U Up 2Day?
      7. Five Companies
      8. Throttle Service
      9. Imaginary Interviews
      10. Our Love (U Can Get)
      11.Things Get Hard
      12. R Rated Pictures

      !!! return with “As If”, the band’s sixth studio album. 

      Combining punk abandon and tightly-coiled dance music has always been bonded into the band’s DNA. It’s this core that has seen them outlive the mid-2000s indie-dance / punk-disco tag and has allowed them to consistently grow lyrically and sonically from album to album. “As If” is their most consummate collection of songs yet.

      Soulful female vocals layer “Freedom! ’15", a self-described disco odyssey, with the band stretching out their live roots. The R&B tinted house track “Sick Ass Moon” follows in the footsteps of “All U Writers”, their April Record Store Day release, bouncing along with a thumping kick to carry the album’s opening. 

      "Each album we've made has gotten closer and closer to our live set and this, we're proud to say, is the closest we've come yet. We were heavily influenced by current dance music - Nina Kraviz, Moodymann, Paranoid London, Rrose and Delroy Edwards were frequently referenced - and philosophically by the early 90's house records we love on labels like Trax and Dancemania and by artists like Romanthony and Green Velvet. Those records sound great because they're fairly raw attempts to use the technology of the time to ape the New York and Philly disco records that those producers loved. We figured, if those old house records sound like they do because the artists manipulated disco samples with MPC's, why couldn't we just sample ourselves and manipulate the tracks with Ableton Live? The more raw it came out the better it felt, not only because that's what excited us about those old records, but because it felt felt more punk, which always feels good." - !!!

      TRACK LISTING

      01. All U Writers
      02. Sick Ass Moon
      03. Every Little Bit Counts
      04. Freedom! '15
      05. Ooo
      06. All The Way
      07. Til The Money Runs Out
      08. Bam City
      09. Funk (I Got This)
      10. Lucy Mongoosey
      11. I Feel So Free (Citation Needed)

      "Over the course of many long van rides and post-coffee verbal riff sessions", guitarist Mario Andreoni explains, "'Thriller' didn't merely represent the selling of a lot of records, it became synonymous with an artist(s) and/or genre(s) artistic high-water mark. INXS' 'Kick' is the Australian 'Thriller'... Alanis's 'Jagged Little Pill' is the Canadian 'Thriller'... Wham's 'Make It Big' is the blow-dryer's 'Thriller'... every recording by the 13th Floor Elevators is the dosed-man's 'Thriller'... 'Sister Ray' by Velvet Underground is the 'Thriller' of musical fever dreams. One day at the studio, Nic (Offer, vocalist) drew 'THR!!!ER' on a napkin and I liked it... Then we made our own 'THR!!!ER'." - Nic Offer

      Famous for their high-energy live shows and relentless touring schedule, the band have really focused their efforts on crafting an album with tighter song structures. To help with this, the majority of the album was recorded with Jim Eno, the drummer in Spoon and one of the key forces behind the boards for the band. Like many people, Jim was a fan of !!!'s live show, but he felt that they too often tried to capture these performances in the studio. Instead of trying to chase this feeling, Jim encouraged them to create a different type of excitement by using weirder sounds, inventing new dynamics within each song and introducing unexpected changes. "They had this working flow that was a little rigid and I wanted to break them out of it," says Jim.

      With the members spread out across the country, writing new music wasn't the easiest of processes. Andreoni offers that "In the past we just put albums together any way that works. That usually meant a lot of jamming on loose ideas." For 'THR!!!ER', !!! went into the studio with everything written and a strong sense of each song's shape. "We've never tried to make the same record twice, we might have accidentally, but we've always tried to push on. For this one it felt like we definitely shoved off from the shore," says Offer.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      David says: Walking a similar path to LCD Soundsystem, !!! confuse people. Are they indie? Are they dance? Are they (shudder) indie dance? The answer, obviously, is when a record gets down, like 'Thr!!!er' gets down, who really gives a f##k?

      TRACK LISTING

      01. Even When The Water's Cold
      02. Get That Rhythm Right
      03. One Girl / One Boy
      04. Fine Fine Fine
      05. Slyd
      06. Californiyeah
      07. Except Death
      08. Careful
      09. Station (Meet Me At The)

      !!! (Chk Chk Chk)

      Strange Weather, Isn't It?

        !!! (Chk Chk Chk) have returned with a striking, personal but ultimately danceable collection of funk-punk-rock-pop-dance missives, fired off with the precision production of the band and Eric Broucek. This is a record custom-built for the alternative dancefloor, yet moving into deeper and sometimes darker territory than previous albums "Myth Takes" and "Louden Up Now". On the one hand, "Strange Weather, Isn’t It?" is !!!’s most texturally rich record to date and is filled with deep, galvanizing grooves in the tradition of 2003’s "Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard (A True Story)" and their massive cover of Magnetic Fields’ "Take Ecstasy With Me". On the other, there’s a dark undercurrent running through the record that acts as a counterpoint to the glittering surfaces. In other words, although only 20% of the record was recorded in Berlin (the other 80% split between New York and Sacramento, California), "Strange Weather, Isn’t It?" is the perfect Berlin album.


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