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- Saturday Night Fever by Gate
9/10 Ant Staff review, 02 June 2016
What is this? An LP by Michael Morley’s (of New Zealand avant skronk legends The Dead C) long running solo project Gate, entitled ‘Saturday Night Fever’ complete with parody logo from the John Travolta flick. Yes you’ve guessed it Gate does disco!!! I’m a huge fan of Gate and I’m a disco head so this had my name written all over it… I’ve been living with the digital promo for weeks now, sadly our copies arrived somewhat late but the important thing is they’re available now and I’m enthusiastic to share this joyous slab of wax with anyone yet to get their mitts on it.
Now you may have detected slivers of disco influence in 2010’s brilliant ‘A Republic of Sadness’ but here Morley has explicitly written a sonic love letter to the heady rump shaking sounds emanating from 1970’s NYC - albeit in his idiosyncratic mode. His fondness for disco may come as a surprise to some, but a lot of avant noise makers cherish disco music; I attended a conversation with Philip Jeck and was over the moon to hear him announce how he’d been influenced by the legendary Walter Gibbons. William Bennett (Whitehouse/ Cut Hands) spins Italo disco as DJ Benetti. It needn’t be a guilty pleasure…
This LP had me hooked from the opening funked up rumbling bassline and horns of ‘Asset’. Sounding like some old disco LP that’s somewhat decayed over time and then he warbles “Hoooold me nowwww’. Bloody genius.
‘Licker’ builds an ecstatic looped guitar lick and layers of grimey distortion into something transcendent, easing off a tad towards the end with some horn action. ‘Caked’ utilises some disco samples and f/x and funks along til it dissolves into heavenly ambient. ‘Hijak’ is a rough ass, lo-fi, gorgeous electro stomper with layered vocals that could loosely be classified as disco -- it yields that indescribable sense of joy and pleasure you get from disco or indeed its successor - house music.
Even if you happen to despise disco and are simply a Gate fan you really gotta check this out - it manages to sound both slightly shambolic yet coherent, a tad noisy but very much accessible. One of my fave releases of 2016 thus far.
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