Black Van, Yearning


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2010 looks like it will be a big year for DFA with the hotly anticipated final album from LCD Soundsystem due out in the next two months. Already they’ve been warming up their release sheet with Yacht, Michocan and Ray Mang featuring a vocal comeback of sorts for Lady Miss Kier. Black Van have also presented their debut on the label, which on closer inspection reveals two veteran producers collaborating on a new disco project. Oliver Kowalski from Hamburg duo Moonbootica and French producer Kris Menace who has remixed everyone from Robbie Williams to Tracey Thorn have come together with ongoing aspirations, Yearning being the first fruit of their labor.

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Showing their considerable experience, “Yearning” sets a tone of irrepressible delight that is part feel-good nostalgia and part disco invocation to lure in the fresh, bright breezes of spring. Keeping things simple seems to be the maxim here with rising and falling chords buoyantly floating on top of an unpretentious, grin-inducing bass line. Extra flourishes from some heart-bursting strings and tinkling of higher octave keys complete the track, which has more than a little bit of pop appeal to it. There are apparently guest vocalists lined up to appear on future Black Van releases so it will be interesting to see how far they push this pop aspect of their sound. The Emperor Machine fires off their remix into orbit with a deranged piece of kitsch, sci-fi disco that incorporates the original bass line into the track but little else. In transforming the original into their own track and applying their signature Emperor Machine touch, “Yearning” loses its clean, carefree appeal, becoming the burnt out, bruised and battered counterpart to the wide eyed young innocent it once was. Horses for courses really, but my money is on the doe-eyed beauty of the original.

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