Hanging Gardens is a masterful bit of disco from LA’s finest, but it’s about three years too late.
The brilliant pool party staple ‘I’ll Get You’ was released by Classixx through Kitsune in mid-2009. It’s been almost four years and Classixx have finally got around to releasing their debut album. ‘I’ll Get You’ and their sundrenched disco remixes of Phoenix, Ladyhawke, Y∆CHT and the like had put the LA duo at the helm of the nu-disco revival, but have they waited too long to make their move?
Title track and album opener ‘Hanging Gardens’ is a six minute instrumental that begins with dappled synth pads before a beaming, recursive synth lead sends the track into the stratosphere, suddenly becoming the perfect soundtrack to a jet plane montage.
The duo definitely know their way around a billion sounds on a Moog, and ‘All You’re Waiting For’ is a delicious nu-disco cut that shows off Classixx’s knack for paying homage to old school synth sounds with some contemporary pizzazz.
‘Supernature’ is another snazzy instrumental, and it’s that part-Balearic, part-Beverly Hills Cop vibe that the then-duo Aeroplane went for in their album We Can’t Fly. ‘Long Lost’ features Active Child, and the collaboration yields one of the album’s best tracks. The smooth hollowness of Active Child works well with Classixx’s synthesisers and we get something between Hall & Oates and CFCF.
Their oldie ‘I’ll Get You’ made it onto the album too, but its inconspicuous inclusion into a 2013 album really begs the question of how far Classixx have progressed in the past four years. Similar to Classixx, artists like Viceroy and Goldroom are still waving the tropical 80s disco flag like it’s going out of style, and the unfortunate thing for them is that, well, it kinda is.
** 1/2 out of five stars
BY RACHITHA SENEVIRATNE
Hanging Gardens is out now on Future Classic.