Minimalism is the theme for My Disco’s latest – Paradise. On this, their second full length offering, the disc comes on a three paneled digipack, with the front cover featuring the three members of My Disco appearing anachronistically like members of a dance troupe, all clothed in black. The other two panels of the gatefold are of the sparse South Australian desert where Melbourne photographer Warwick Baker took the shot. It’s symbolic, and I feel like a wanker saying it, but essentially the ideas of Paradise are detailed in the shot. This is minimalist dance music for those who don’t like their minimalism coupled with tech, house, Terry Riley or Phillip Glass, but where there’s still detail to be found for those caring to look.
Different to their debut (2005?s Cancer) for many reasons, Paradise archives My Disco’s energy much better than its predecessor. Recorded in My Disco’s spiritual homeland of Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, by Alibini, but it’s not Albini’s name that should draw you to this record – it’s the My Disco tag. The sounds here are particular in their precision and, in a strange way, tougher. Not tougher as in hardcore-straight edge- tough, but in minimalist tough, where there’s a language that’s both precise and concise that works as an overriding guide for how the album plays out.
Ben Andrews incorporates more of the sound his guitar brings to Agents of Abhorrence than you’ll find in any other My Disco recording, but it’s more contained than the former and works well in bringing melody to a rhythmically driven record. And there’s definitely drive there: on the surface the rhythms are simple, that’s what makes this record so danceable, but dig a little deeper and the conversation that builds between Rohan Rebeiro’s percussion and Liam Andrews? bass shows the benefits of a five year long gestation period. ‘|’ acts as a one minute thirty opening upon which the rest of the album builds – a statement on the virtues of brevity that My Disco follow for the next 36 minutes. The album’s centrepiece, ‘An Even Sun’, takes what is an exercise in skill when performed live and uses its repetition as an end unto itself, structurally creating a dynamic masterpiece that contradictorily evolves out of stasis. And while each member knows when to play to effect, it’s where My Disco know not to play that makes them truly striking. ‘Mosaics’ shows this well, as does live favourite ‘A Christ Pendant Comfort Her Neck’, but in reality this isn’t a collection of songs and sounds worth listening to, it’s an album that astounds and – above all – the album that every moment following a My Disco show has left you wanting.