Hot Chip - Made In The Dark

Set to be the dance album of 2008
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You can listen to 'Made In The Dark' NOW at ClashMusic.com

Everyone's favourite geek chic exponents return with an album aiming to top the gold selling, Mercury Music Prize nominated The Warning.

From the initial core duo of Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard, tinkering with cheap synths on early home recordings, the band has grown in all senses, adding members Owen Clarke, Al Doyle and Felix Martin, and producing two previous albums and stints of hard touring and numerous dj slots around the world. But they haven't left those early working methods behind, 'Made In The Dark', like 'The Warning', was recorded exclusively using their home studio with little outside help.

Since the huge success of 'The Warning' and it's Ivor Novello nominated lead single 'Over and Over' the band has remixed The Rolling Stones, Scissor Sisters and Gorillaz and released a highly acclaimed Dj Kicks compilation. All very impressive, yet in keeping with the band's origins and modus operandi. What wasn't so expected was the enthusiasm and energy that this one time bedroom studio project had for touring, taking their democratically arranged show (the five members stand across the stage in a row) around the globe for the best part of two years.

Returning to work on 'Made In The Dark' after their stadium rock like existence couldn't help but find their live sound influence the batch of new material they were recording. That said, there is no mistaking the dense, clunky percussive loops of a Hot Chip number nor the soulful charm of Taylor's vocals.

Opener 'Out At The Pictures' kicks things off in great style. An off kilter snapping beat sets up the tune before it breaks into a new and improved Hot Chip funky break complete with buzzes, whirrs and whoops. Even the vocals, as with all the best funk, follow the rhythm creating some innovative ph-ph-ph-phrasing. Things continue apace taking in future single 'Ready For The Floor' (apparently offered to Kylie no less) and the dizzyingly clashing layers of 'Bendable Poseable' before we reach the first ballads of the set.

'We're Looking For A Lot Of Love' and 'Made In The Dark' both featuring heartfelt lyrics backed by surprisingly sensitive backing. Of course, this being Hot Chip, this type of song is their flipside trump card. Not only are they the masters of catchy credible dancefloor fodder, they can also tug at the heartstrings like the best singer/songwriters (but without the dull bits).

The end portion of the album boasts another classic Hot Chip pop song 'Wrestlers'. Taking wrestling as a metaphor for love with amusingly over literal lyrics. 'Whistle For Will' and 'In The Privacy Of Our Love' close the album, two piano led ballads which segue together creating a downbeat but satisfying end to the album.

After the acclaim 'The Warning' received there is a fair bit of expectation about this release and the band has responded by continuing in their own idiosyncratic groove, developing and refining the Hot Chip sound to perfection. As it stands, 'Made in the Dark' is set to be the dance album of the year.

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