Beat Club


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Appearing seven years after the Beat Club's debut single "Dreamworld," Paris is an often enjoyable melange of everything that went into the group's formation and unexpected career thanks to the patronage of Bernard Sumner, Rob Gretton, and the Hacienda. Located thousands of miles away in Miami, the duo of Ony Rodriguez and Mireya Valls created something that audibly derived from '80s club experimentation but sounded just as good in the techno-driven setting of 1994 and beyond that into a new century -- something of its time that ended up feeling effortlessly timeless. There are hints of everything from ambient float to electronic body music and even Belgian New Beat right from the start with the album's title track, Valls' coolly beautiful vocals declaiming over a rich slow burn of a beat. "Security," the second Beat Club single overall and the first to feature Valls, is a prime example of this kind of fusion come to life -- the beats and bass immediately reflect the sounds of Miami bass and freestyle, but the dark, echoed dramatics and synth stabs move beyond the swooning melancholy so familiar from those styles, and into something not far removed from contemporary Front 242. Other cuts like "Out of Touch" and "It's Over" wear their New Order/Pet Shop Boys/hi-NRG obsessions openly, while sometimes the songs contain obvious enough elements -- "Dreams Were Made to Be Broken" is partially driven by a certain James Brown/Clyde Stubblefield sample that the entire world seems to know by now. In all, Paris embraces its moment with passion and on its own multifaceted terms. LTM's reissue of the album in 2010, like the original CD version, contains a slew of remixes as bonus cuts, including two of Sumner's remixes of "Security," featuring his own additional vocals and lyrics, a Martin Moscrop remix of "Dreams Were Made to Be Broken," and three versions of the non-album cut "Transamerica."

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