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- Angel Guts: Red Classroom by Xiu Xiu
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To be quite honest with you I haven’t been following Xiu Xiu’s trajectory all that closely since their admittedly excellent breakthrough album ‘Fabulous Muscles’ all those years ago. I did hear that split with Chad Vangaalen but that didn’t have a lot to do with music. This new one does, though.
‘Angel Guts: Red Classroom’ is much more what I would expect from Xiu Xiu - theatrical, emotionally raw, overtly sexualised synthpop which mixes soothing drones and melodies and a soft, tuneful vocal style with crazy industrial electronics and layers of grinding, buzzing, hissing darkness. It’s seems more dance-oriented than what I’ve heard from him previously, although that was a long time ago. ‘Stupid In The Dark’ is particularly impressive as it bursts into life in its final throes, a churning robotic disco banger piped direct from the future.
I like the bits where his vocals are all whispery and processed so they flicker in and out and you can’t really tell what he’s on about. Musically lots of parts of this are reminding me of The Knife’s ‘Silent Shout’, that kind of brooding, sinister but darkly danceable black hole of synthpop alienation. You probably already have a pretty good idea of whether you’ll like it or not.
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