Shit Robot - We Got a Love (Album Review)

This was, probably, one from the most antecipated albums to come out of DFA's uterus this year. The irish DJ and producer Marcus Lambkin, better known as Shit Robot, released his second album, after the 2010 critically acclaimed 'From the Cradle to the Rave'. Four years back, his irreverent music style - something on which DFA label has, in fact, built its catalogue - was well received. He was never a musician for the masses, as his sound is uncomproming, made of long and psychadelic jams, lots of dissonance and a well-dosed amount of madness. He surrounded himself with a host of talented artists (the majority signed to DFA), who gave vocal embodiment to his groovy snares and beats: Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip, Nancy Whang, Juan McLean, planningtorock and James Murphy, just to name a few.

Meanwhile, his new work remained scarce over the next four years, slowly releasing  singles from that first album. Two new tracks, 'Space Race' and 'Teenage Bass' saw daylight in 2012 and then, only in 2013 he hinted at a new album with the exuberant 'Feels Real' and the split EP with Juan MacLean where he introduced us to the single 'We Got a Love'.

The second album, 'We Got a Love', has finaly drop via - obviously - DFA. And, as fans of Shit Robot's first album, we're pleased to realize that not much has changed. It's the perfect follow-up: the disco-coloured arrangements, the relentless beats and snares that flow like long mantras, the imperative handclaps and an inventory full of great vocalists are, once again, combined to generate something that still mesmerizes, in spite of being anything but completely fresh and new.

'The Secret' starts this exciting journey, a jerky and heavily arpeggiated antic where Reggie Watts' words are so distorted that the whole thing sounds like the ramblings of a drunkard. Newcomers Museum of Love add muttered and ethereal vocals to 'Dingbat', while putting an extra effort to the drum work. Sadly, it's a rather flat track, although the modulated effects heighten its strangeness and save it from imediate oblivion. The funkier side of 'Do That Dance', however, comes with greasy basslines and a passionate cowbell, sustaining Nancy Whang's invitation to dance. It just sounds like everyone is having fun and we soon find ourselves following her advices.

By now, the album rises the BPM and really sets itself as a dancefloor winner. Straight from the 80's comes legendary Lidell Townsell, a Chicago house artist whose vocals suit perfectly the pulsing and wonderful 'Do It (Right)'. What a gorgeous house jam! It easily gets infectious and takes control of your synapses. Though Shit Robot is a great funk and nu-disco deliver, he really excells at devising strict and compelling house tunes (his previous album also had its share of these). 'Feels Real' is another massive piece of music, built around simple and repetitive synths and basslines, until an addictive falsetto from Luke Jenner (the frontman of The Rapture) starts escalating into stratospheric levels of hysteria. Pure disco bliss that would make Jimmy Somerville and Sylvester proud. The fast pace continues throughout 'Space Race', one of only two instrumental tracks on the album, and it trully feels like what its title suggests - a frenzied chase around the cosmos, with all the neons and retro special effects you can conjure up.

Things slow down in 'Feels Like', a well-earned rest from all the past commotion. Holly Backler (who sang in some Manuel Tur's and Ron Basejam's songs) has an intense voice and it becomes a central piece of the track, stitching together the housey elements of this slowburning moan. But suddenly Reggie Watts is back with 'We Got a Love', his voice firstly all dressed up in feathers and sequins, and then all butch and groovy. 'Tempest' closes the album, a churning, compulsive and crazy theme with earpiercing effects and an almost Moroder feeling sewn into it just asking to be danced to until you fall flat on the dancefloor, completely dehydrated. Yes, it's that good!

'We Got a Love' has some hits and misses every now and then, but its main objective is fulfilled: to make you have fun. If you like a little bit of irreverence in your music, this record might just be your next best friend. Shit Robot keeps doing what he does best - playing with your mind and body - and even if this is not a cerebral album, it most certainly will tingle your lymbic system in a way that few other can.

RATE: 8/10

Shit Robot - Official website | Facebook | Soundcloud
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