Black Devil Disco Club

28 After

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File this one under "That Dorky Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, Never Was." 28 After is the purported sequel to French duo Black Devil's entirely non-mythic 2004 Rephlex debut. That effort was supposedly recorded in 1978 and not reissued until 28 years later, hence the pun title of this release. This time around, the music is credited to one fellow, Bernard Fevre, who was supposedly working under an alias previously. Lo Recordings likes to have fun with cutesy tricks and fabricated press releases, but in the end it all comes down to the quality of the music. And whether 28 After was recorded in the '70s or the early 2000s, this is amateurish stuff, with annoying heavily accented, high-pitched vocal yodeling, cheap sampler effects that sound like Butch Vig's Garbage outtakes, sub-Alphaville new wave synths, and blatant New Order melody rip-offs. "On Just Foot" and the ludicrous "Coach Me" are both sad "Blue Monday" riffs. If "I Regret the Flower Power" isn't a lark, it's one of the most unintentionally absurd "dark" dance tunes of all time. It makes the Blue Man Group sound credible and the Bloodhound Gang look like John Cage. Not energetic or dynamic for the dancefloor and not intelligent enough for headphone listening, 28 After comes across like a collaboration between somebody's little brother and their grandfather who doesn't speak much English. That it cropped up on numerous Best-of-2006 lists shows the success of the tricky press releases or just the gullibility of critics falling for indie cooler-than-thou hype. Where the "1978" songs were a little spooky, these six tracks are even cheesier and entirely disposable. Since Rephlex was involved in the earlier "reissue" with is its obscure history, some wondered if Aphex Twin or Squarepusher or Luke Vibert were involved, but if that's the case here, this is one of the weakest and most poorly arranged efforts in any of their careers. Entirely inessential, the purposely ambiguous and ineffectual 28 After is funny for about three seconds but ultimately an amateurish affair that will trick some critics and make a couple computer programmers laugh, but it won't be heard in too many discothèques.

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