Robots in Disguise

Robots in Disguise

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There wasn't exactly a clamor for it. Nevertheless, Robots in Disguise have in 2004 dropped a US version of their eponymous Recall Records debut, which got a bit of gimmicky pub upon its European issue three years earlier. Gimmicky, because RID representatives Sue Denim and Dee Plume function inside a bubble of jive-ass mythology. We're meant to believe they're robots, you see. Punky arms move herkily-jerkily, songs are sung in emotionless, yet erotic tones - they're androidal Marias on a sex odyssey from Femalia. These Robots' function? They crunch computations of electro, synth-pop, The Slits, and Lush. "Boys", the hit, whirs on the novelty of Denim and Plume's sexily detached accents cooing hipster come-ons; "Boys in bands have a lotta fun/They make new sounds to get off on…" Sneaker Pimp Chris Corner is the girls' musical sculptor, handling drum programming, production, and engineering. He comes up with some propulsive fuzzy rhythms, particularly on "Postcards From…", which suggests Too Pure-era Stereolab, or the hooky synth-wave of "Mnemonic". Cuts like "50 Minutes" and "Bed Scenes" try and squeak by on mild prurience, while "Argument" and the Bowie trip "What Junior Band Did Next" are concept extensions of the outfit's robot gag ("Picture the scene: Clouds circle over 2010/The Robots are on tour again"). Definitely your bag if you pine for the creativity and depth of the electroclash era.

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