Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Album Review: Lemaitre - Relativity 2

Album Rating: B
It’s going to take me a few more minutes to fully process the fact that Daft Punk released Discovery, the album that single handedly sparked a bloodlust for catchy, feel-good dance music, over a decade ago. It’s comes as such a surprise because the album’s legacy is such that repeated playings have kept it in a perpetual state of “just-being-released.” People simply did not get bored with it; at all. After all, it took a good six years for Cross (Justice) to appear and claim a stake in Discovery’s undying reign, and even now the legacy of those two albums dares any would-be dance aficionados to match them. People have tried, of course, though I think it would be a stretch to suggest that releases by the likes of LMFAO will leave much of a lasting impact. Sadly, until the time comes where we’re once again swept off our feet in a wave of feverish, ecstatic dancing, we’re forced to keep searching. One of the more recent and promising duos to step up to the plate are Lemaitre, who recently released their third EP, Relativity 2. 

I’m certainly not the only one to have hopes for the Norwegian pair: even after only three self-released EP’s and little in the way of advertising they’ve attracted the gaze of several high-profile music blogs as well as upwards of 18,000 fans on Facebook alone. With their own take on inoffensive, infectious electro-house they stand as an opposingly optimistic force against the ever obscure and experimental world of electronic music. In part, this lies in the genetic makeup of Lemaitres style, as the strong tints of late 00’s indie-pop add to the incredibly care-free vibe that they’ve developed for themselves. Short, sharp bursts of electronics and prevalent drum beats lay themselves over this, allowing tracks to smoothly shift between calm, vocal-led interludes and mad spurts of energy. Keeping the crowd on their toes. 

I would be lying if I said that Relativity 2 didn’t offer much of what we’ve heard from Lemaitre before, but the continued high standard is what’s most important. I don’t think it’s imperative for anyone that Lemaitre try anything particularly new, more that they build up in momentum to the point where they’re prepared for a full LP. Gladly, this may occur earlier than expected: while tracks such as “Splitting Colors” may appear to be ripped off of some forgotten Justice release, there is plenty of evidence to show the duo enforcing their own style. “Steady State,” for instance, defies its title by containing a chaotic and disjointed melody that’s almost impossible to sit down to. In a similar way, “Time to Realise” bounces along off the quick shifts of a simple, jaunty piano melody before shooting off into something rather more explosive. The included remix is nothing to write home about in particular, however, but it does provide a satisfyingly aggressive take on one of the more mellow tracks from the previous EP. 

The atmosphere could be construed as being rather run of the mill, it has to be said. All these constant-feel-good vibes can begin to wear after a while. It isn’t a release well suited for extended listening (such as when you sit down to write a review about it!), but then again that’s in its very nature. Not just the fact that it’s dance music, either; the EP format doesn’t allow for any proper sense of pacing. This isn’t something that really affects Relativity 2 in any major way, but this is just another aspect that the duo are going to have to overcome in order to make their mark in this genre. 

It would be a little premature for me to proclaim Lemaitre as “the thing to look out for” in the next few years; desperate, even. Relativity 2 is nothing if not promising, however, and while we may not have another slice of dance royalty on our hands, this EP offers a hint at what could be. For now, Lemaitre still need to shrug off the last few remnants of their influences if they really want to make the scene their own. This EP, therefore, is amazingly fun if not just leaning on nostalgia too heavily. I will be watching very closely, it has to be said, and if they ever reach true popularity be prepared for an exasperating amount of I-told-you-so’s.


1. Keep Close
2. Time To Realize
3. Splitting Colors
4. Steady State
5. Appreciate (Uppermost Remix)

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