File next to Phoenix
Anoraak – Whenever the Sun Sets

Is the world ready for a Police revival? The answer is of course no but their fourth album ‘Ghost In The Machine’ is definitely a regular spin on the record deck of Frederic Riviere, at some points of this album you almost expect a cod reggae voice to start singing about some twaddle about the sun being invisible. Thankfully, this doesn't happen.

After several false starts in Riviere’s music career he finally went his own way in 2008 with a very 80’s and very French sounding debut E.P. – ‘Nightride With You’. On that E.P. he took the peculiar twisted disco sound fellow French producers Alan Braxe and Kris Menace excel in and slowed it down transforming it into something more musical and less synthetic. He proved to be an expert in doing this and his debut long player oozes the same quality.

With a synth twiddle here, a nod to early 80’s new wave music there, moments like ‘Long Hot Summer Night’ would sit easily on MGMT’s ‘Congratulations’ album while ‘Try Me’ could be Friendly Fires remixed by Neon Indian, the hazy sun drenched vibes adding to the air of psychedelia, the sweet sounding pop of ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ featuring Sally Shapiro even manages to evoke the perkier days The Cardigans.

Continuing the glorious musical schizophrenia, the wobbling low key electronica of ‘Above Your Head’ shows a more introspective, tender side while the chiming guitars and trance-like synths of ‘Midnight Sunset’ is an antitode to all this politeness, its dramatic murkiness could equal that of Giorgio Moroder’s work on the soundtrack to Scarface.

Throughout the album he channels the spirit of underground disco and soundtracks to forgotten films, pilfers piano riffs from early 80’s Italo Disco and imagines the whole thing being played live by an indie band, he does it so well it’s as if these sounds were born to be together despite being totally disparate.

File next to Phoenix, yes, that good.


Words by Chris Todd

Follow Clash: