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Review - Black Devil Disco Club - Eight on Eight

Black Devil Disco Club - Eight Oh Eight (Lo Recordings)

One of the oldest tricks in music, although very hard to do, is to create a specific sound world and then inhabit it fully. Think Basic Channel or Tom Waits for example. - Bernard Fevre’s Black Devil Disco Club project famously hinted at being one of the key moments of Italo-Disco if it weren’t for the fact that his now legendary EP from 1978 vanished as soon as it appeared. “28 After” was aptly titled, and encapsulated a sound that Fevre has refined, if only a little, on this latest 6 track LP. I guess what makes his project interesting is that it provides a key link between new wave European bands like Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Italo, but retains a dark, uncertain element from the former.

To be honest there is very little difference between this album and “28 After” apart from the last track “For Hoped” which hints at a slower, more unusual and dare I say, happier direction, but I don’t think this is a bad thing. The galloping rhythms, skeletal basslines and disconcerting vocals that often sound like they’re from the wrong side of Fevre’s mind shouldn’t really work, but in amongst this taut and fractured soundworld, there are some moments of genuine brilliance. “Is Sorrow” stands out as the most immediate of songs on the album, treated vocals slung underneath the mandatory modulated bass and motorik rhythms and topped off with synths that glide along and pop up with unrestrained glee at opportune moments.

Given that he is now, by all accounts, 62 you would have thought Fevre might have calmed down somewhat, but this fresh lease of life for him is allowing an interesting seam of music to be mined, and we’re better for it.


Toby Frith

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