Recommendation #62 [Miami Horror - Illumination]


22 okt 2010, 16:38

Miami Horror is the distinctly Scarface-esque pseudonym of Melbourne DJ/producer Benjamin Plant. And while his name my conjure up images of power crazy Cuban drug overlords, 80s synth nightmares, mountains of cocaine and chainsaws revenge killings, Plant’s music couldn't be further from these rather violent connotations. Illumination is a collection of relentlessly retro sunshine . The kind of stuff you fantasise about hearing on an Ibiza beach at sunrise: bubblegum , with a shiny gloss of hipster style and an undercoat of subtly ironic crowd-pleasing.
This is a record that wears its influences loud and proud, far more interested with impact than innovation. And, what with being the brainchild of a Melbourne bedroom producer with a crossover live band, comparisons to Cut Copy will be inescapable. So expect a raft of lazy reviews along those lines. But there are also strong links to PNAU, Felix da Housecat and, almost obligatorily, nods to Daft Punk and New Order.

What separates Miami Horror from most of the above is Plant’s commitment to commercialism and accessibility. In a better world this would be what pop music is: quirky quantised wonk with a squelchy bit of boogie in the bass. Big old hands-in-the-air, smile-on-your-face filter house funkphoria – blatantly cheesy (the vocals are cutting the cool/cringe line fine) but with some old school MPC/808 action, contemporary collaborators (including Neon Indian and Golden Filter) and shades of chillwave to add some chic.

It's not all good. Illumination is a throwaway album, too lightweight to ever be truly influential or timeless. And the nursery rhyme harmonies get stuck in a cycle of saccharine, pushing the kitchometer to dangerous levels. In short, Miami Horror has created an audio sugar rush: instantly pleasurable, with a fading come down that might just leave you feeling a little hollow. But a perfect pre/post club party starter for sunny days, indulgent evenings and mornings after the night before.

Miami Horror - Illumination

1. Miami Horror - Infinite Canyons (2:08)
2. Miami Horror - I Look to You (3:53)
3. Miami Horror - Holidays (4:27)
4. Miami Horror - Summersun (5:27)
5. Miami Horror - Sometimes (4:13)
6. Miami Horror - Moon Theory (4:22)
7. Miami Horror - Echoplex (4:26)
8. Miami Horror - Illuminated (2:56)
9. Miami Horror - Grand Illusion (2:32)
10. Miami Horror - Soft Light (4:53)
11. Miami Horror - Imagination (5:08)
12. Miami Horror - Ultraviolet (3:58)


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