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Simian Mobile Disco, the British ‘fidget-house’ DJ duo, just released their newest album, Unpatterns, in late May. The duo, which consists of James Ford and Jas Shaw (members of the former Brit-rock group Simian), first got their start DJ-ing small club gigs with a portable rack of analog equipment. Their debut LP Attack Decay Sustain Release was a perfect blend of minimalistic house mixed with enough pop and excitement that it made a splash in the independent music scene in 2007. They followed it up with 2009’s Temporary Pleasures, which flowed more to the pop side, but as an unintended result, isolated a number of their fans and the album was met with ho-hum reviews. In response to this, the group went back to their experimental roots with 2010’s Delicacies, an album full of spaced-out fidget house. The album is pretty experimental, but if that’s your cup of tea, it’s absolutely fantastic (Personally, I loved it). Unpatterns, however, moves the group a bit back towards the pop side of the electronic spectrum, but still keeps the group floating in the deep house cosmos.
The album opens with ‘I Waited for You’, which starts with a single pulse of a synth and acts as a primer to the sonic identity of the album. The lead single “Seraphim” revolves around a soulful vocal loop, which is reminiscent of tracks done by electronic artist Moby in the late 1990s. The accompanying music video is also quite a head trip. Later in the album, “You’re Love Ain’t Fair” keeps the soul vibe, but adds a trippy groove into the mix when the beat drops.
Overall, it’s a great listen, although it probably won’t gain the duo any new followers, as there are no stand-out singles or clear club bangers on the album. However, if purchased on iTunes, the album comes with a lovely little bonus track titled “Everyday” which is a great throwback to mid-nineties house. If you’re a fan of more left-field electronic music, or already a fan of the duo, Unpatterns is worth a listen.