2 Track, 7inch (2011, Hustle Muscle)
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Related: Total Control.
It's 1983. I'm at a Berlin discotheque and Total Control are playing to a room full of Germans being German in a New Wave club called “Anti Static”. The night before – surrounded by glue sniffers – I witness them tear up a punk squat. This, of course, is complete horseshit, but the trajectory and evolution of this Melbourne five-piece – from cold-wave punkers to kings of the disco – has been faster than the gentrification of Prenzlauer Berg.
From their debut 7” on Aarght! to this – their latest release on Hustle Muscle – Total Control sound like an almost completely different band. Last year’s 7” ‘Paranoid Video’ was a hint they were taking a more beat-oriented direction, but ‘Pyre Island’ takes the cold synth and gets, well, insanely more synthy. It’s actually one big bubble of Yamaha 606; one that mixes minimal techno, some warped messed-up vocals and guitars that sound like something off Talking Heads’ Remain in Light. It’s also incredibly rad. Like Canada’s Holy Fuck, the repetitive and simple beat makes you want to move in an awkward, herky-jerky fashion.
B-side ‘Mind Shaft’ doesn't have quite the same impact as ‘Pyre Island’, but it brings more bouncy, if not scattered electro boogie to proceedings.
by Tim Scott