Acid Washed’s self-titled album is the very epitome of future-retro: analog synths and sequencers coupled with modern production techniques; old school disco sounds with futuristic squelches and moods; this album is disco, post-disco, house, and 90s music rolled into 11 occasionally rambling tracks.
The album wastes no time in making reference to its influences, kicking off with a track called “General Motors Detroit America” – a blatant reference to the crumbling home of house, and whose trademark heavy kick drums are present throughout the album (see: Snows Melt).
It is actually the bonus Blackstrobe remix of the track that is more interesting though, where the initial spacey voyage is flipped into a chicago-ish/french house banger reminiscent of the other contemporary disco producer’s work.
But space is clearly the place for Acid Washed, with Bikini Atoll representing a lush extrme thereof and Change, Royal Soda, Amour Fatal and Concord taking on a Moroder-esque italo vibe. There are some amazing grooves in these tracks, and though they at times venture into an 80s PSA aesthetic, tracks like Acid Washed and the aforementioned Blackstrobe Remix maintain a solid groove.
Tracks like Apply and Snake stand out as dance-floor friendly contemporary electro-pop jams, the former being (in your humble author’s opinion) the strongest cut on the album. The Billy Squire drums are instantly recognizable and are well complimented by the woozy bassline, while breathy vocals and shimmering synths balance the aggression: pop-mastery!
The remixes help accentuate just how retro and analog the originals are, smoothing them out and totally transforming the disco into banging house reminiscent of the best of early Leftfield or flipping them into full on ravey synth heavy beasts.
All in all, a consistent and powerful entry, this album as a whole conjures up some of the sounds of mid-90s electronica at its purest and funnest. A pleasing first effort.
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