Wednesday, July 8

Discovery- 'LP'

. Wednesday, July 8

Indie music is painfully white. Think about it and go through your record collection. Sure you’ve got Bloc Party, maybe a bit of TV On The Radio and the token hip-hop album (probably Outkast or Dizzee Rascal) but by and large the bands you like, the posters on your wall and the gigs you’ve been to are nearly as mono-racial as a BNP rally. This isn’t a problem per se; it merely reflects cultural choice and a historical lineage. You get the feeling though that it really bothers some people, to the point they are set on a mission to do everything they can to eradicate their liberal guilt.

Step forward Discovery, the side project of Ra Ra Riot’s Wes Miles and Vampire Weekend keyboard player Rostam Batmanglij. Having appropriated afro-pop and made a huge success of it in 2008 Batmanglij has turned his eye to glossy R’n’B for this latest project. It is admirable that Discovery have made an album that actually sounds as if it was influenced by Aaliyah, and Timberland rather than merely name checking them as influences in interviews to seem multicultural however in producing the tepid and embarrassing ‘LP’ they have damaged their reputations and come off looking like an MP trying to be ‘down with the kids’.

The production throughout ‘LP’ is solid to impressive, reverb drenched beats pound heavily and pretty glacial synth lines dance atop merrily. However, they clash awfully with Miles’s preppy and twee vocals and adding guest vocalists from Dirty Projectors and Vampire Weekends own Ezra Koenig make the record begin to sound like a bedroom experiment that should have stayed private. ‘LP’ is a difficult listen with heavy use of auto-tune and an awfully timed and in no way poignant cover of ‘Want You Back’ by Jackson 5, ‘Osaka Loop Line’ aside every part of the album sounds derivative, affected and offensive. If the duo wanted to make a modern R’n’B record they’d have been better working as producers with a vocalist who has soul and meaning to their voice. As it stands Discovery are making a preppy and diluted version of the music and playing it to blog reading nerdy white kids. It all feels wrong and worryingly ironic. Disovery’s love of this music may be indisputable but so too is the fact that they have made a painful hash of their homage.




Anonymous said...

they started on it before auto-tune became so popular in r&b/rap and i believe its a great experiment. no worries tho

Brainlove said...

I certainly don't have Bloc Party. But I do have a shit tonne of Cambodian folk, Ethiopian proto-funk and Tibetan chanting. Fuck rubbish indie music man, who the fuck likes Bloc Party anyway. x

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