Michoacan, In The Dark Of The Night


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San Francisco-based Michoacan (aka Fernando Miranda Rios) is one of those artists who’ve thus far managed to make a pretty decent name for themselves while remaining mostly hidden from view. No real bio, a couple of Q&As dotted around but bar that, nada. Up until now, that is. Prior to this release Michoacan had been dropping a slew of low slung ’80s disco-pop on the likes of Lecktroluv and Grayhound Recordings, as well as dance floor-baiting cosmic disco cuts for Bear Funk or Tiny Sticks. But with In The Dark Of the Night the game has changed: DFA is involved, videos have been made, and buzz has been growing louder as the record creeps into springtime playlists and mixes.

The original is a slo-mo, cowbell-studded meander through the ’70s dubby disco vaults as viewed from the 21st century. Live drums, dubby bass guitar riffs, simple piano twinkles and the classic cosmic Moog noodles find their way into every little nook and cranny of the track. This is the kind of tune one would normally expect on Bear Funk or Chinatown, though the slightly scuzzy vocal which the anchors the record feels reminiscent of DFA cuts of yore, such The Juan MacLean’s awesome and somewhat underrated album Less Than Human or earlier LCD Soundsystem singles. Not exactly a dubby masterpiece, but a more than welcome edition to the canon. On the flip Italian trio Clap Rules takes it to the dance floor’s center. Opening up with elongated strings it drops into into a sunglasses on, shoulders back throwdown posture. It’s almost as if their idea of staying true to the original was to fit every ’70s and ’80s nod into the first couple minutes, with wah-wah guitar, John Carpenter-esque synths, funky popping bass lines, panning phasers, and claps all vying for space yet, surprisingly, remaining unruffled. If DFA’s recent release schedule is anything to go by the In The Dark Of The Night is the kind of thing one should be prepared to hear a lot of this summer, leaving Michoacan to shine in the spotlight.

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