Album: Hot Chip

Made in the Dark, EMI
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The Independent Culture

The acclaim that rained down on Hot Chip's second album, 'The Warning', largely focused on its ability to satisfy the listener's cerebral demands as well as the physical: hands in the air and finger on the chin. In the meantime, while Hot Chip were raking in the awards nominations, an even more acclaimed example of what one might term "thinking person's dance music" came along. 'Made in the Dark' sounds as though Hot Chip have heard LCD Soundsystem's 'Sound of Silver', realised that the stakes have been raised and, just as The Beatles made 'Sgt Pepper' as a considered response to The Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds', issued their answer. Not that this is Hot Chip mimicking anyone else: the five skinny white boys are carrying on along their own wilful rail track of unshowy craziness. Their third album is ravenous, both in the text ("I eat what I slaughter") and its desire to cannibalise whatever it can, from wherever it chooses, from terse post-punk drums to 'Battlestar Galactica' laser fights. It's fleetingly danceable: Hot Chip jerk rather than groove, and when they find a groove, it has the illusion of being accidental. And if there are ironic smirks or distancing quote marks, I can't find them.

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