Gus Gus have had more record labels than most people have had hot dinners, but throughout they’ve proved their worth with music of vitality and originality.
The move to Kompakt coincides with another change in approach. Initially the tracklisting looks sparse, with only six new compositions, but each is a substantial piece of work that somehow fits in with the Kompakt approach.
Lean, mean and keen – those are the soundbites fans can take away with them. There is more techno at the root of the band’s sound on this occasion, but the soul still remains. The opening track splits neatly into two parts, an atmospheric opener that proclaims “I feel like dancing”, before picking up the beat as if to order, its sleek production prowling forward like a black panther.
There are reminders of the fine album from DJ Hell in the darkly turning Hateful, where the barbed lyrics and minimally voiced beats give a stark, night time city picture. There are more comforting, space age beats that work really well in the loping On The Job, an effective track stretched out to the limits of its capability. As in the other five, the band take their time to really set the mood, the beats and pads carefully voiced and co-ordinated.
Meanwhile Jimi Tenor goes for some Bowie-on-a-hangover vocals on Take Me Baby, with the striking lyrics that sum up the album, “love me on the way to the dark side”. This develops into the strange buzzing of Bremen Cowboy, which doesn’t quite pale into insignificance but doesn’t have as much substance.
In dance music few can sustain interest over the best part of 10 minutes, but Gus Gus pull that trick out of the hat every time with some really epic productions. In 24/7 they’ve just made one of their best albums of an increasingly impressive and formidable career.