Donnerstag, 16. September 2021

Liaisons Dangereuses - Liaisons Dangereuses (1981)

Despite the number of fitting associations that have been drawn -- from the Normal to Throbbing Gristle to Suicide to D.A.F. to Nitzer Ebb -- Liaisons Dangereuses remains a very odd and unique album. Cobbled together from a series of four ten-minute cassettes that were then compiled and mixed (at Conny Plank's studio) for wider release in 1981, the album had a profound effect on EBM (electronic body music): a rigid, cold, unrelentingly pulsating form of dance music made with electronics. 

Its overriding characteristics also informed early Chicago house music, with its jack-inducing twitch, which also means its effect sent ripples on through Detroit techno. 

40 years after its release, tracks like "Los Niños del Parque" continue to feature in DJ set lists. What often gets overlooked with this record is how it could just as easily be categorized as post-punk or even no wave -- check the loosely tethered sax squonks in the whip-snapping "Etre Assis Ou Danser," or the dissonant scrapes and drones in "Dupont" and "Apértif de la Mort." Co-ed vocals speak, shout, and harangue in a mix of Spanish, German, French, and busted English. "Peut Être... Pas," one of the more adroit dancefloor-friendly tracks, places wavering synth jabs and squiggles over a couple of brittle percussive elements and a bass foundation that's closer to a series of prickly jerks than a line; an emphatic male voice grunts nervously while a female off into the distance randomly pipes in with sudden shrieks and brief phrasings. On "El Macho y la Nena," a violently coiled-up track simmers throughout; here, the male voice is much closer to a constipated, Spanish-speaking version of Suicide's Alan Vega, spitting out gruff, clipped segments, which are answered by girlish squeaks. If one can't get off on the still-thrilling noises on this album, she or he can at least appreciate its bizarreness.


A1 Mystère Dans Le Brouillard 4:25
A2 Los Niños Del Parque 5:00
A3 Etre Assis Ou Danser 3:25
A4 Aperitif De La Mort 3:40
A5 Kess Kill Fé Show 3:28
B1 Peut Être ... Pas 6:18
B2 Avant-Après Mars 3:48
B3 El Macho Y La Nena 3:58
B4 Dupont 3:50
(192 kbps, cover art included)

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