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Delorean – Subiza April 27, 2010

Posted by gwyoung in Album Reviews, Music.
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Artist: Delorean

Album: Subiza

Release: Fool House, 2010

Genre: Electronica

RIYD: Phoenix, MGMT, Animal Collective

Everything I have to say about Delorean’s Subiza is remarkably similar to what I said in my most recent post (about Jónsi’s Go): it’s the perfect music for warm weather; it experiments with a lot of different vocal samples; it has an upbeat, childlike energy; it’s full of bright, shimmering synths and electronic effects; it has nine tracks that span about 40 minutes; etc. Even though I hate it when my descriptions of music get repetitive and dull, I still felt compelled to write an entry about this album just because of its sheer quality. Simply put, this album is damn near perfection.

For those of you not familiar with Delorean, they’re the electronic dance-rock group hailing from a small Basque town in Spain called Zarautz (thank you, Wikipedia) responsible for last year’s similarly excellent Ayrton Senna EP and some of the best remixes of everything ranging from Franz Ferdinand to the xx. The group had actually put out several releases prior to the EP including a self-titled debut and their sophomore effort, Into The Plateau, but they didn’t really hone in on their distinguishable sound until early last year. This new sound, perfectly exemplified by the euphoric “ooh”s and “aah”s of popular track “Seasun”, adds a layer of experimentation with blissed-out electronics to their usual mix of guitar-driven, danceable pop, and this addition makes all the difference.

Those same “ooh”s and “ahh”s, usually sampled from the vocals of the female group members, have become the trademark sound found all over Subiza. Each track is littered with them, as well as with samples of baby-like wailing, synthetic bassline arpeggios, and glitchy pulses that serve as an excellent backdrop for frontman Ekhi Lopetegi’s endearing verses and choruses. In effect, Delorean apply the same taste for electronics as Animal Collective do in Merriweather Post Pavilion, but to dance-punk rather than experimental pop. A prime example is opener “Stay Close”, which uses the exact same synthetic sounds found on the collective’s “Brothersport” to end up with the same kind of pulsating tropicalia that made that track (and the rest of MPP) so good. In addition, like other contemporaries such as MGMT and Passion Pit, Delorean have a way of capturing a sense of nostalgia in the lyrics and melodies of their songs, though this nostalgia seems to be geared more toward past summers spent on the beach than for childhood or teenage romance (though there’s some of that here, too.) While each track on the album has a fast-paced groove, there are certain undertones that make the music seem more calm and contemplative than most dance music and certain moments where feelings of sadness emerge from the ecstatic exterior. It’s this complexity that makes the album so worthwhile: these aren’t just some fun summer jams to drive around to. Delorean’s songs make you feel, which is something that all music should strive toward.

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