Album Reviews

Deadset – Keys Open Doors

(Front Room) UK release date: 12 November 2007


For their debut album Tom Magnan and Cass have decided to refer to themselves as Deadset1 and Deadset2. Having listened to the album this decision was probably made for reasons of self-preservations. Anyone releasing something this dire is definitely going to need an alias.

What’s so strange is that the British duo actually has a very good pedigree, having previously remixed for the likes of Muse, Royksopp and Scissor Sisters and done stints at venues such as Fabric and The End to name but a selection. However, remixing the work of others and creating something entirely new are very different skills and, judging from this, they’re not always interchangeable.

Those of you whose memories stretch back that far will remember partying nights away to music like this ten years ago. You’ll also remember why you stopped listening to it, which was mainly because if you actually came down off your drugs for long enough to be aware of what you were gyrating away to you realised most of it wasn’t actually that good.

Things go wrong with this album right from the offset. The first track alone would be enough to consign it to life as a coaster in most places. Titled Instructions, it’s the first of three interludes, those pointless little snippets that we’ve all come to know and loathe that bands pop in when they can’t quite get the track order to flow properly. It’s also a gut-wrenchingly awful mix and match attempt at trying to be creative with a set of instructions on how to lie down. Cheers for that lads, it’s had us stumped for years.

The rest of the tracks don’t get any better, and most of them are so disinteresting as to not even be worth discussing, but a couple deserve special mention for their sheet banality. Buzzer Says Werner and Brazil ’70 are to dance music what rice cakes are to triple-chocolate fudge gateau, and …And Ham is a front runner for the prestigious Scheissemusik des Jahres award for so shamelessly ripping off Kraftwerk during that period even their hardcore fans don’t bother with.

Bearing all this in mind it comes as no surprise that this is also the label’s first sortie into the notoriously awkward and unforgiving dance album format. Label boss Jesse Rose appears to have signed them on the strength of their remix reputation, and may well come to regret it.

Still, DJs have their followings and you’d be amazed at what sells over on the continent, but as regards the UK market these guys are just going to have to hope there are still enough hardcore pillheads around from 1995. Unless of course they’re actually going for the novelty coaster market and no one’s told us.


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Deadset – Keys Open Doors