Le Galaxie – Laserdisc Nights 2 (Album Review)

One of the problems of living during a recession is that you are bombarded with negativity on a daily basis and so reality is hard to take at times. The news may leave you feeling somewhat empty and apathetic. I find a little dose of pure escapism is just what the doctor ordered. Le Galaxies’s new album Laserdisc Nights 2 might just be the ticket. Building on the success of their Transworld EP and scooping an IMTV Best Dance Music Video Award in 2009 for You Feel The Fire!; the Dublin quartet has done itself proud. Their latest offering is an audacious electro pop rock trip that makes regular influential stops at Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tron and all things science fiction.

Opener Earth and Beyond Transworld is where it all begins. Starting with simple synths and drum beats, they evolve into straight up dance floor epics.

What is so striking about these songs is that they time travel like a Back to the Future DeLorean car. They’re duly weighted in Kraftwerk, 1980s and 1900s dance and techno influences, but shot through with futurist tones and themes.

The first single to be released Midnight Midnight sounds like Gary Numan in robotic vocal mode. The machines have taken to the streets and are seeking vengeance in the form of simmering synths and signature keyboards. Like many of the songs it’s all held together with pounding drums and a chorus that might lead you to run amok on the nearest dance floor.

Without a doubt one of the strongest tracks on the album, Powers of Miami hears the human race ask ‘how much time has it got left?’ It starts out with tightly packed little beats, but things change gears with euphoric melodies and strong guitar work.

Dividing the album and slowing things for a moment is the floating in space dreamscape, Blood Beach. It is easy to imagine this accompanying those fascinating dystopian skyline images in the 1982 film Blade Runner.

The journey continues with Orion which strips away the dance grooves and turns up the guitar amps to give a more rounded electro pop sound. As it grows into a rock-out jam you might forget you’re listening to Le Galaxie. But not to worry – nobody does anything on this record unless a computer says so first. Computerised vocals are always there to keep things in check.       

Similarly Police Department starts with a computerized voice reminiscent of the out of control computer HAL from the aforementioned 2001: A Space Odyssey film. However the results are less eerie as it’s a posh English gentleman computer pleading for clemency from its master. Personally I never thought I’d feel sorry for a computer, but I do! A simple drum beat drowned in a manic frenzy of pulsating synths are what it’s all about.

Victory and Paradising help to bring the magical mystery tour to an end. The former starts slow but ascends in typical Le Galaxie fashion with supernova style choruses and chunky bass lines. Things slow and drift into Paradising which provides the calm after the storm.

Providing good value for money Laserdisc Nights 2 is an album that will make you get off your seat and dance but it may also take you to far off distant places. It should also take Le Galaxie places too as it very well might be one of the best Irish electronica albums of 2011.

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