Album Reviews

LCD Soundsystem – 45:33

(DFA/EMI) UK release date: 12 November 2007

LCD Soundsystem - 45:33 45:33 isn’t really an album. But it isn’t really a track. And it’s a bit big to be an EP. Originally released as a download only ‘track / continuous mix’ in 2006, this LCD Soundsystem project consists of six tracks and, for its physical release, three bonuses. So it’s a nine-track single or a mixtape or… oh, what the hell. It’s James Murphy. So it’s going to be good, whatever it is.

There are ideas buried in the mix here that would later be fleshed out and end up on Murphy and Pat Mahoney’s Fabric Live compilation mix or on LCD Soundsystem’s ‘proper’ album, Sound Of Silver. That record’s track Someone Great, a recent single, appears here bereft of vocals but otherwise identical. All of which means it can be used for karaoke.

From further back in the mists of time comes a selection of lyrics from Losing My Edge, Murphy’s voice morphed down an octave or so until he resembles a particularly grumpy Barry White, while Someone Great’s reverse synth pulse and scattering of drums march relentlessly on into the distinct sound of kiddie keyboards’ backing beats.

Of the bonus tracks, Sound Of Silver’s North American Scum is almost unrecognisable in its guise as Onanistic Dub. Only Nancy Whang’s rousing holler of “North America!” relates this gentle ambient nob-twiddler to the roaring dance rock anthem on Sound Of Silver. Freak Out/Starry Eyes, all 12 minutes and 22 seconds of it, complete with a blatant ode to Kraftwerk‘s Trans-Europe Express half way through, along with scattergun sundry other influences, is at one point the closest Murphy’s got to shimmying down to Motown.

Hippie Priest Bum-Out keeps the party going a little longer with a beat that points the way to the chillout room before its abrupt end. But recent Joy Division cover No Love Lost is sadly not included – there will always be DFA and LCD recordings floating around the ether, it seems.

In all this physical release, so long after the digital download was made available, is a strange collection. Particularly so as Sound Of Silver’s development of Someone Great into one of LCD’s best songs yet felt complete, but here we have the bare bones being dug up.

LCD Soundsystem’s many fans will want this principally for the bonus tracks but will probably already have the rest of 45:33. But sought after these tracks are and at least the dwindling ranks of technology refuseniks can now get their kicks too.

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