Various Artists - Fuck Music Let's Art - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Various Artists - Fuck Music Let's Art

by Leonie Mercedes Rating:6 Release Date:2010-10-11

Created by nostalgically-minded American kids on their laptops who missed shoegaze the first time round, chillwave has been making quite an impression on the blogosphere in the last year or so, sounding like the scrapbooked aural imaginings of what may as well be a mythical era to a league of twenty-somethings (the late 1980s). It's all too fitting that it was identified and named, perhaps whimsically, by a blogger announced as New York gossip website Gawker's 'Hipster of the Decade'.

Fuck Dance Let's Art is a whistlestop tour of the genre and of all its shades and hues, from the metallic cut 'n' paste dubstep of Toro Y Moi's 'Fax Shadow', to the bittersweet dream pop of 'Despicable Dogs' by Small Black, via the bouncy, if subdued electro of Slava's 'Anything'. It certainly has some range, though as a unit, FDLA proves itself as a pensive affair (and with a title like that it obviously wants to be).

Things do start promisingly enough, though for a style of music so dependent on pastiche, and with some sequencing problems, the perils of the 'genre' compilation reveal themselves. While the tunes could happily stand on their own, similar as they are and played one after another in such quick succession, before long any definition begins to fade away and everything briefly degrades into a fuzzy mess, like an over-exposed photograph.

Animal Collective picks things up before it all slides into homogenous screwgaze soup with the sparkling, pounding majesty of 'My Girls'. Another winner is Washed Out's 'Feel It All Around', a chugging climber with its shelltoes firmly planted in a strip-lit 80s discothèque, and Bear in Heaven wraps proceedings up beautifully with the melancholic synth-led 'Lovesick Teenagers'.

A good introduction to a tenuous grouping of music, though what does the future hold for chillwave? Is there enough momentum behind this genre so unashamedly nostalgic and meticulous in its scrapbooking tendencies to carry it though to, oh… 2011? Well, if electroclash is anything to go by...

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