FRIDAY 22 OCTOBER
Trouw, 21.00, €17
Disco is alive and representing. You want facts? Take a look at this year’s programme for Amsterdam Dance Event. Need more proof? Go listen to Hercules and Love Affair. The first and self-titled record by the new New York dance pop crew made one thing crystal clear: there is disco DNA at work.
‘I’ve been collecting disco records for ten years,’ confesses project frontman Andy Butler in a pre-tour phone call. But while he’s been listening incessantly, and also banging out remixes and covers of Lady Gaga, Madonna and The XX, it’s been a disco-free two years since their last proper release. This is why we are utterly delighted to say that Hercules and Love Affair are back in town for ADE, and also that the release of their follow-up album, Blue Songs, is pencilled in for January.
For the recording of Blue Songs, Butler chose a scenic midwinter night’s dream: an old two-storey apartment in pre-Christmas Vienna. Although, admittedly, as a disco and house wiz, his mind was made for him because it was the studio of techno producer Patrick Pulsinger – a former resident DJ of NY’s Limelight – filled with an impressive ‘arsenal of vintage dance equipment’. And while the setting and the title may suggest gloomy moods and subtle sadness, it’s the co-producers’ mutual love for house and dance beats that underscores the songs. ‘There will be disco with a lot of varying influences this time… like jazz. But there will also be more techno,’ assures Butler. ‘I just fell back in love with old techno beats, jacking house and soulful voices.’
For Blue Songs, Butler has also decided to ‘access his singer-songwriter side more, writing almost-ballads with a child-like quality’. Though he chuckles at the thought. And although there will be no Antony guesting on this record, Butler proves his exquisite taste in singers yet again, inviting Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke and solo artist Aerea Negrot, a Berlin-based Venezuelan singer with a classically-trained voice, who’s already appeared on a couple of BPitch tracks. Then there’s the familiar ear candy of Kim Ann Foxman and Shaun Wright, who fans will recognise from the first record and their formidable live appearances.
For those who don’t want to endure a three-month period of waiting, we suggest you check out their ADE showcase at Trouw and experience disco the way it was intended: loud and in enough vibrant colours to come down with disco fever. As Butler phrases it, ‘Music is there to create an emotional response,’ and that certainly comes across in the Hercules and Love Affair live experience.Tweet