Paradise/In Love An Arc

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AMOR is made up of avant rock cult figure Richard Youngs, visual artist/experimental musician Luke Fowler, Norwegian double bassist/minimalist composer Michael Francis Duch, and drummer Paul Thomson of Franz Ferdinand and the Yummy Fur, among other bands. While that combination of descriptions could lead to many different outcomes (and potentially the type of mishmash collaboration that simply doesn't work), the quartet's music surprisingly ends up being a sprawling yet focused brand of hypnotic neo-disco. The group taps into the eccentric avant disco of Arthur Russell's Dinosaur L project without directly quoting or alluding to it. A simple, insistent kick drum guides the proceedings, which include layers of blissfully relaxed pianos, elastic jazz basslines, handclaps, and tapping drums. Everything sounds focused and precise yet free-flowing and sprawling. "Paradise" (very likely a nod to legendary New York City disco the Paradise Garage) seems to be about earthly transcendence through dancing; Youngs repeats "Calling from paradise, can you get through?" over a funky minimalist disco shuffle. At certain moments, his vocals are treated with delay effects, making it seems like his sentiments are being liberated from his mind and transmitting straight into the cosmos. "In Love An Arc" is a twinge more melancholy, more concerned, and searching for something more resonant. Furious, suspenseful violin bowing by Jane Sayer tips the track closer to the avant-garde realm, but it never loses its heavy, relentless dance beat. Both of these tracks are thrilling, and one can only wonder what Larry Levan or Walter Gibbons would've done with them had this record existed three decades earlier.

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