Stranded In Stereo: Can't Stop Spinning: Hercules and Love Affair by Hercules and Love Affair

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Can't Stop Spinning: Hercules and Love Affair by Hercules and Love Affair

Mike Archibald checks in with the record he finds himself having on repeat lately...

Hercules and Love Affair made a call to polyester this past March with the release of their new self-titled album. The album is crammed full of tracks destined to make you move your body. Hercules and Love Affair is led by DJ Andy Butler, who tries to bring his own flair for disco to the modern electronic world.

This album is comprised of many classic disco techniques that are the root of much of the electronic scene today. One song in particular, “Hercules Theme” screams South Beach; the track very well could have been placed in club scenes of Scarface. The beat is a tandem of drums and electronic bass that walks its way through the song, carried by a woozy female vocalist and a simple string arrangement that is reminiscent of Saturday Night Fever. It also features a flurry of horns paired with synth.

The opening cut off the album, “Time Will,” is very passionate and refined disco. Where “Hercules Theme” may be fun and lively, but “Time Will” is relaxing and more subdued. The track has lots of synth and an electronic foundation, but it is controlled by a very soulful vocalist. It might also be the catchiest song on the album, because of the track’s simple lyrics and its whispery melody. The beat still trots on this track as well, making it another example of how infectiously dancey this album is.

The album’s best track might be “You Belong,” with a beat that’s busy with bells and buzzing warps which keep a listener occupied and thoroughly entertained. The female vocalist on the song tames the beat with her gentle voice but still keeps the song alive and vibrant with style. This song is a must play on all upcoming DJ and party gigs you might be having in the coming months.

The album starts off with a ravaging bang but as time wends its way through, the listener’s interest slowly fizzles out. Perhaps it was too much disco for me to handle in one 52 minute block of music, but Hercules and Love Affair certainly felt top heavy. I felt the album was overall exceptionally fun and enjoyable, but the later cuts on the album just didn’t withstand the test of attention. Listening to tracks on Hercules and Love Affair as singles rather than as a whole album makes it more enjoyable. This album also has spectacular Byzantine-style artwork that made me want to purchase it in vinyl purely for a piece of domestic aesthetic.

I wouldn’t consider myself by any means a real disco fan but the Hercules and Love Affair was a fun flashback. This album has the ability to be influential for electronic artists as an example of new genres to sample from. Hercules and Love Affair is a very accurate replication of standard disco, new techniques are used to create those classic sounds for an album that may not reinvent the wheel, but one that is still enjoyable nonetheless.

Buy: Hercules and Love Affair [Here]

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