Record Reviews

Lace Curtain

With its allusion to something both timeless and outdated, functional and ornate, Lace Curtain is a project functioning on tensions. Working in an electronic context from its members? punk rock foundations, the three-piece, with its roots in eminent synth-crossover band Total Control, stumbles through a shared appreciation and neophyte expression of stylistic opposites. Members David West, James Vinciguerra and Mikey Young not only gravitate in and around the geographical axis of Melbourne, but their musical tastes converge and deviate across a nebulous palate of ancient house, no wave and disco.

A disorienting sense of loss, of time, space and sensation permeates this self-titled debut in a way that only jetlag or that Great Disconnect, the internet, can. It makes sense, then, that the four-track EP was developed across timezones, with its creators being based in North Melbourne, Victoria’s southeastern peninsula and San Francisco, where they built, worked and reworked their respective parts through the magic of mass communication and the frustrations of physical distance.

Lace Curtain – Good Intentions by DFA Records

And while Lace Curtain’s collective past is centred around a shared punk trajectory, there are certainly differences between its three members. West is a hyper-prolific musician whose [other projects](/releases/2001090) operate in pockets of post-hardcore, murky pop and weird noise. [Young](/articles/4075992), a well-known guitarist and DIY producer working across a range of successful, mostly guitar-based, bands, has been known to [dabble](/news/3634193) in electro-pop, while Vinciguerra is a drummer, part-time promoter and [occasional](http://www.discogs.com/label/Eerie%20Stratum) label owner with a dilettante obsession with futurology and hypermodernism across media.

As rhythm-based sounds with nary a sense of rhythm, dance music not meant for dancing, Lace Curtain draws from its British, German and Italian influences with the wilfully na’ve distraction of an autodidact. EP opener ?Nothing I Wanna Do? rolls over a looping, muted bass line, its echoing drum beats and floating guitar chords buoying West’s lifeless vocal as he drawls, ?Just hangiiiin? around? while ?In This House? drifts in and out of consciousness over a quivering Krautrock strut. Meanwhile, in vacillating wildly along a central illusion of EDM, Lace Curtain comes across less as a willful foray into electronica and more a giddy assemblage of familiar musical elements used to create something that is as original as it is unsettling.

Lace Curtain – Nothing I Wanna Do by DFA Records

That said, there’s nothing new in the tradition of other mutant disco and no wave spheres of punk-electro crossovers, but it’s in how the music’s made and where that process takes them that makes Lace Curtain a project worth engaging with. Because as a band kind of based in Australia, formed on tour and produced across oceans, the intention is not so much in building on the past but focusing on the present, in anticipation of the future.