One fateful night in Edinburgh in 2011 I reserved a small place in my heart for French electro-swing outfit AlgoRythmik. The reason? They played a thundering remix of the theme tune from The Muppets. That’s the kind of move that can win fans.
That year they released the utterly superb album Morphism. Let’s take a look back at it…
Let’s have a look at some of the highlights:
‘Everybody Gets Funky’ has a hard brutality with tinny, crashing drums and electronics that sounds like a cross between a steel drum army in a humongous washing machine. Then it bewilders by hurling jazzy flutes into the mix then slowing everything down to a slo-mo action replay. Revving the engine back up, the song hits top speed for a dash for the finishing line. Stunning.
‘Aborijazz’ hits like the woozy, giddy thrill of a 2AM in your favourite club and someone’s got the jager bombs in. Whizzing through your nervous system with a firework display of dance floor explosives, it’s a shot of adrenaline for your legs.
They then follow that up with ‘Physical Sisters’ which sounds like a huge robotic brain going into (literal) meltdown. Lurching and punishing, this is a song that follows you round the room, poking you in the ribs.
‘Something Fishy’ powers up with the slow, brooding intensity of a trans-continental express juggernaut. Then it burst’s out into the snow laden wilderness leaving all in its wake. Trouble is, at 3 and a half minutes, just as this beast is hitting its stride, the listener is left behind, coughing in the exhaust fumes. Really, this should be at least 8 minutes long.
‘Final Round’ sounds like the haka performed in some neon Tron landscape and ends the album with an ecstatic, messy intermingling of rhythms and sounds, mirroring how this music should be best enjoyed in a sweaty after-hours nightclub. And then, the sound of a door thumping shut. And you’re spat out into the cold, morning air; dazed and confused and not looking forward to next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, ‘Hammer’s Break’ has a sleazy bottom end and three years later I can’t decide if ‘Circus World’ is fantastic, or just really irritating, which in itself is intriguing, and does have some great sparkling electronics. ‘Cantina’ throws its ideas into a cement mixer then spews it from your speakers for your pleasure. ‘A Guide To Happiness’ hovers and stings like a mutant funked-up wasp and what could be accordions battle against the slapstick music from one of those creepy 40s Disney cartoons.
Overall, the album flows magnificently. The pacing is taught and exciting and the songs well sequenced. Morphism is an album that
deserves needs to be played loud very loud. What is highly impressive is that the group don’t overuse their good ideas, what other bands would build an entire song with, AlgoRythmik pick, up, discard, and move on. This is an album that consistently excites and more than anything, is good clean fun downright filthy.
And, if you were curious…