Gil Mantera’s Party Dream – Bloodsongs (CD)

From what al the pictures of Gil Mantera’s Party Dream looked like, I was not expecting this sedate, almost synth-pop sound to issue forth from me during tracks like “Buffalo Tears”. There is such a catchy hook to “Buffalo Tears” that one cannot do anything but be enthralled by it; one will be on the dance floor before the end of the band’s first track, no questions asked. For songs like “Shadow Grip”, Gil Mantera’s Party Dream tie together Depeche Mode and Erasure with Aphex Twin (the sequencing, not really the shouted-out sounds of “Come To Daddy”).

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 Mantera’s Party Dream makes this album into an impromptu greatest hits collection. The use of a guitar solo during “Elmo’s Wish” 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 Romanticism’s 2006 model? “Building Rockets” continues this electronic emo type of style, but really puts Gil Mantera’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 “Super Plus Ice Festival”. 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. “Bloodsongs” 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 Donny’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, Elmo’s Wish

Rating: 8.6/10

Gil Mantera’s Party Dream – Bloodsongs / 2005 Fat Possum / 10 Tracks / http://www.partydream.com / http://www.fatpossum.com / Reviewed 22 January 2006

[JMcQ]

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