2017.03.01

30年近くも活動を続けているとマンネリ化しそうなものだけど、やはりこの2人は底が知れない。むろん今回のニュー・アルバムも70~80年代のエレクトロ・ディスコやテクノ・ポップ愛がそこかしこに噴出していて、その意味で近作と大きな違いはないが、この弛緩ぶりは何だ!? KenKenのチョッパー・ベースが牽引する“人間大統領”のように押しの強い曲もあるが、全体に通底するのは先行シングル“Fallin' Down”で到達した〈タテもヨコも無い/上下すらない〉境地。トミタ栞の無感情な声がいい塩梅なぬるま湯アシッド“プエルトリコのひとりっ子”、アフロ・テイストのバレアリックな表題曲、ズブズブの酔いどレゲエ“いつもそばにいるよ”など、思考/志向を放棄したような緩さとナンセンスな歌詞が解脱へと導いてくれる。夏木マリとスパニッシュ・ギターを絡めたデカダン・ポップス“ヴィーナスの丘”に至ってはいわゆる〈電気らしさ〉でさえ喪失しており、最先端ではないけど新しさを感じさせるすごい一枚。

 

[English Translation]
Denki Groove - "Tropical Love"
If you stay active in the game for nearly three decades, the odds are that you will have lapsed into a rut. But, Denki Groove's unflagging creativity is the exception that proves the rule. That said, the Japanese techno duo's latest album remains sprinkled with their love of '70s/'80s electro disco and techno pop, making little stylistic difference to their last few productions. However, what on earth is this looseness of "Tropical Love"?

While it includes in-your-face tracks like "Ningen President," which is driven by rock band Rize member KenKen's slap bass, what runs through the album is a great sense of disorientation displayed on lead single "Fallin' Down," where the duo get lost in a moment and sing "there's no front or side / even up or down."

Elsewhere, the LP abandons thinking and intention to a sense of release, getting loose with nonsense lyrics. The goofy acid "Puerto Rico no HITorIKKO" sets a stage that matches Shiori Tomita's detached vocals. The title track is an Afro take on Balearic music, and "Stand by You" offers a boozy reggae tune. "Venus Hill," which combines singer and actress Mari Natsuki with Spanish guitar, even eschews Denki Groove's usual characteristics, contributing to an eccentric album that hints at a novel quality in a conventional style.

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