Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Digitalism, Idealism

With the Rock the Disco collection, Justice’s “Cross” and now Digitalism’s “Idealism” it’s been a very good time for indie rock/electronic/dance music.  Digitalism is German duo Ismail Tuefekci and digitalismJens Moelle and “Idealism” is their first album following three successful singles (all of which are included on the CD). 

Like Justice, Digitalism features a bottom heavy sound with a very sharp, punchy and precise bass.  Compared with Justice, Idealism trades a bit of inventiveness in song structure and use of electronic effects for a bit more in the way of danceable rhythms.  These are not large differences and both groups provide powerful, driving, inventive and technically exciting dance music.  Good stuff.

The three previously released singles that are included on “Idealism” are “Zdarlight”, “Jupiter Room” and the title track and they are all fine examples of state-of-the-art dance music but they are far from the whole show.  Virtually every track on the CD holds something of interest be it cool electronic effects, smartly juxtaposed meters and rhythms, immense danceability, driving bottom end or some combination of all of these.  Moelle and Tuefecki maintain close control over all of this so that beats, effects and rhythmic changes are pinpoint sharp and delivered for maximum effect.  Fifteen seconds into the brief “Jupiter Approach” a low bass note is accompanied by a powerful subsonic depth charge.  The bass note decays normally but the subsonic continues unabated for 45 seconds.  This isn’t some weak “do you feel something?” effect; if you have the subwoofers to produce the frequency and the room correction to insure that the sound wave doesn’t become muddied and smeared at the listening position, it feels like your torso has been turned into the world’s largest vibrator.  It’s amazing.

Electronica-based dance music is in the process of breaking out of a long period of unimaginative, derivative tedium where genres and micro-niches were defined by differences in bpm rather than anything musically interesting.  Digitalim is one of the groups at the forefront of this change.  They rock.  They groove.  They sound cool.  Good times.

Music from this CD can be heard on Tuned In To Music Podcast 015 – Rockin’ the Dancefloor


09/14/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

1 Comment »

  1. Right on, my man, right on. I’ll check them out.

    Comment by jptros | 09/14/2007 | Reply

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