From what al the pictures of Gil Manteraâ€™s Party Dream looked like, I was not expecting this sedate, almost synth-pop sound to issue forth from me during tracks like â€œBuffalo Tearsâ€. There is such a catchy hook to â€œBuffalo Tearsâ€ that one cannot do anything but be enthralled by it; one will be on the dance floor before the end of the bandâ€™s first track, no questions asked. For songs like â€œShadow Gripâ€, Gil Manteraâ€™s Party Dream tie together Depeche Mode and Erasure with Aphex Twin (the sequencing, not really the shouted-out sounds of â€œCome To Daddyâ€).
This is the logical extension of the style of music put forth by Chromeo; the evolution of a fun style to the nth degree. This is dance music for the new year, and goes well beyond such half-hearted attempts done by bands like Junior Senior and the aforementioned Chromeo in the years past. With each of the tracks having a fire to them that does not go away with slower tempos or more nuanced sounds, Gil Manteraâ€™s Party Dream makes this album into an impromptu greatest hits collection. The use of a guitar solo during â€œElmoâ€™s Wishâ€ seems to be the perfect opposite to the sequenced drum beats on the track; is this electronic emo (blowing acts like Head Automatica) or new Romanticismâ€™s 2006 model? â€œBuilding Rocketsâ€ continues this electronic emo type of style, but really puts Gil Manteraâ€™s Party Dream into the realm of such modern classics as Fischerspooner and The Postal Service. This may just be the sweetest three-fourths of an hour that one can ever spend without drugs; hell, the Party Dream may just be a rival to various type of consumable drugs.
Where individuals can decry such an electronic-based act as being done mainly by computers, the counterpoint to this has to come from listening to tracks like â€œSuper Plus Ice Festivalâ€. The track has so many things going on at any one given second that it will take honestly like ten listeners to the track to get a good idea of what all is happening. â€œBloodsongsâ€ is not the same track cut ten times, but each track here really has a different feeling to it that showcases both Gil Mantera and Ultimate Donnyâ€™s diverse brand of influences. Pick this up; this is the best dance album of 2006, and will stand on its own much after the newness of the dance style wears off on the listener.
Top Tracks: Alligator Missions, Elmoâ€™s Wish
Gil Manteraâ€™s Party Dream â€“ Bloodsongs / 2005 Fat Possum / 10 Tracks / http://www.partydream.com / http://www.fatpossum.com / Reviewed 22 January 2006