Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

http://www.konkurrent.nl (ATP)

Fuck Buttons, Fuck Buttons, oh how Incendiary loves you. Their latest majestic LP has been out a while over summer, and due to other matters we’ve only got round to sticking down our thoughts here. Sometimes it’s difficult to write about a record that you get obsessed by anyway; there doesn’t seem any point in following up the action of playing it. I listened to it round Europe; it effectively sound tracked my trips on Deutsche Bahn. And I can confirm that Slow Focus’s sense of movement and power and sense of drama is absolute. Seeing the marshes of Silesia and the plains of Lower Saxony roll past the window whilst having the majestic, sanguine rumble of Brainfreeze or the unbelievably brilliant Stalker blast through your headphones is one enlightening trip, let me tell you.

I would wager that this is the sound of a band reaping the years of patient and steady work. There was always the talent and the vision there, but Fuck Buttons have taken a long term view on their art and allowed it to slowly unveil its presence to them, not shitting themselves when their Muse is finally uncloaked. You can hear their assurance in the unflappable quality about the sound on Slow Focus; their tracks are akin to symphonic movements or intermezzos, built up layer by layer, repositioned, carefully thought through and given the right setting it’s no wonder their music feels incredibly assured.

And this is their most calculated offering to date, almost academic in tone. I could say at times that tracks like The Red Wing, Prince’s Prize and Sentients are cold blooded; given their precise, surgical choices of texture and beat.  Given it’s ostensibly a dance record and the received wisdom is supposed to  be that dance records should be fun and happy go lucky etc., that idea of detached calculation may not sit pretty. But fine. Of course, there are moments of the euphoria and vim of both Street Horrsing and Tarot Sport, of course; but when confronted by tracks like Stalker which could be a synthesis of both the previous LPs in their entireties, it’s probably best to let this record take the controls.

I’m not comfortable saying that this is their masterwork, but they’re going to have to work damned hard to top this fucker. What was it Bach said?