Hercules & Love Affair - Blind - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Hercules & Love Affair - Blind

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

New York had been due a truly monumental dance anthem for a long time when 'Blind' turned up, its providence delightfully unlikely. The sharp-dressed rockers who lit up the early noughties - your Strokes and your Yeah Yeah Yeahs - were glorious but too garagey to unite the dancefloor, while pervious DFA releases by The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem were brilliantly genre-defying but perhaps just a tad too knowing. It's hard to give yourself up to the groove when you're busy spotting the reference points.

'Blind' doesn't just wear its inspirations on its sleeve; it also keeps its bleeding heart pinned there. The music is propelled forwards by a classic disco groove topped with urgent brass interjections and weeping strings, over which the tremulous, swooning vocals of Anthony and the Johnsons' Anthony Haggerty relate a tale of transition from innocent certainty to disillusioned isolation. It could be about love, sex, sexuality, society, drugs. It could be about an amazing night out and the emptiness of the following morning. Or how the dance music explosion, and the super-clubs which followed, let us down; led us to mistake strobe lights for starlight, thanks to an overload of poppers and hubris.

It could very well be about the gradual erosion of one man's faith in great music to bring about such blazing communion that the whole world would be changed. It could just as easily be about the break up of a community, which spent too long on the dancefloor waiting for its moment of shared epiphany, and eventually drifted off into the margins to be snared by bad sex and better drugs.

Of course, 'Blind' is about all these things simultaneously, which is why it's the best dance anthem for more than a decade. It's not about loathsome dollar-eyed superstar DJs or stunted man-child sexual fantasies. It's about all of us and the egalitarianism of the dancefloor, the simultaneous realisation and abolition of self that occurs when we move in unison, the reclamation of that sacred state as the domain of brilliant dreams and exquisite nightmares.

It also proves beyond doubt one thing: if Nina Simone and Giorgio Moroder had made a record together, it would have been amazing.

Richard Morris

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