On their second album, Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow, aka Art Department, want to take you to the disco. But there’s no glistening glitterball or gaudy get-up here, and certainly nothing in the same postcode as a Nile Rodgers lick.
Instead, Art Department’s take on disco has a much more Teutonic feel – the beats are measured, the sounds are precise and the tracks unfold as if they’ve been carefully constructed in some kind of electronic dance music laboratory.
This may lead you into believing that ‘Natural Selection’ is a clinical exercise, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The deliberate nature of the album is designed to appeal to all your senses, and the vocals often seem as if they’re being whispered directly into your ear, which means the album occasionally has something of the erotic about it.
While ‘Natural Selection’ is certainly laudable and sure to go down a storm with house fans, it can feel like it’s working on well-trod ground too often. It doesn’t have any obvious deficiencies, yet it’s lacking that real transformative aspect to elevate it above its peers.
Solid if unspectacular then, yet you’ll find that, much like when in high school, it’s always worth checking out the Art Department.
Words: Joe Rivers
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