Album Reviews

Black Affair – Pleasure Pressure Point

(V2) UK release date: 28 July 2008

So, if the music industry was Mount Everest and this this was a temporary camp set up near the baseof Beardmore glacier, then Steve Mason aka Black Affair would be Captain Lawrence Oates.

Because last year (as King Biscuit Time) the hard work done, the preparatory tour wrapped, the debutLP on the shelves Mason clearly thought that this treacherous path was clearly not worth theeffort, exiting the scene remarking “he was just stepping outside, and may be some time”.

Or words to that effect. That, we assumed, would be that. Another good one lost to the ravages ofthe mountain. But apparently you can’t keep a good man down, and by anyone’s standards Mason’s hitrate is pretty damn good. Even setting aside the promising beginnings offered by the aforementionedKBT he was, lest we forget the former lead man of the oft-missed, never-knowingly-bought BetaBand.

Thankfully, Black Affair is no different. Except, it is different, as befits a fella of Mason’smusical restlessness. It’s a dark, processed, slightly cheesy, slightly disturbing melting pot ofthings; only some of which should necessarily go together.

But that’s always been Mason’s knack. Who else would have considered making a fifteen minute lo-fiinstrumental with added animal noises on your second EP. Ok, bad example. But here he goes all out.This is Mason making a stab at minimal Detroit techno. With added laconic Scottish monotone.

Ah, we hear no one say. Yet honestly, much of Pleasure Pressure Point really works: It GoesLike This ain’t half like The Human League rutting Prince in an empty swimming pooland the simply joyous Tak! Attack! smacks of someone attempting to cover the Pet Shop Boyswhilst watching hour upon hour of bizarre epilepsy inducing Japanese cartoon.

It’s sleek and elegant and weirdly juxtaposed. Any really, really well constructed. That’s despiteMute Me being frankly absurd, and Pills descending into something which sounds like AphexTwin battering his face against his Macintosh. There’s an unmistakable feel of PleasurePressure Point being made to suit no one except Mason.

Risky as it is to say it, what with his propensity to leave at inopportune moments, it’s really goodto have him back. Hereabouts lies a very gallant gentleman. And a flippin’ talented artist.

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Black Affair – Pleasure Pressure Point