Saturday, June 5, 2010
Album and concert review: Homemade Extacy by Florene, performed at Rubber Gloves in Denton (June 4)
Florene delivers what their fans ask for, which is fun, exciting, and thoroughly enjoyable dance music.
DENTON The electronica duo Florene is quickly becoming one of Denton's more popular acts, and it’s not hard to see why. Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio in Denton welcomed them Friday for their album release of Homemade Extacy.
The obvious comparison between Florene and Crystal Castles has been thrown around a lot -- both before their performance and at the album release on Friday. But I don’t fully agree with it. Florene is much more high octane and sporadic than CC. And, they deliver their music with an overdriven quality, similar to Sleigh Bells. The result is an onslaught of pulsing hypnotic music that barely gives you a chance to catch your breath between songs.
This genre of music can be a little unapproachable -- a little too avant garde -- for those who are not totally into it. Most electronica groups have an inherent tightrope act to perform when dealing with the general music fan. And the seemingly safe world of drum machines and synthesizers can all too often result in utterly uninspired and boring music.
When done properly, and with real thought and execution, electronica can explode with life and vibrancy, exactly the way Florene does it. Despite the pulsating and hypnotic sound, Florene’s music does not remain stagnant. It has purpose, which is a priceless quality for any band -- but especially in this genre.
Their performance made me wonder if the excitement of their live show translated onto the record. After a listen, I'm not totally in love with the album, but it has definite bright spots. The opening song and title track to Homemade Extacy might just be the best on the album. Much like their set on Friday night, the album kicks in with a ton of guts. At no point is there a “getting to know you” stage. Florene dives head first into their music with little regard.
As the album progresses, things slow down for just moments at a time. Listeners get a quick breath before Florene launches into another synth and bass driven assault on the eardrums. Yes, Florene has captured the essence of their live show on this album quite remarkably.
As beads of sweat formed on the brows of those dancing at Rubber Gloves on Friday night, one thing became clear: Florene delivers what their fans ask for, which is fun, exciting, and thoroughly enjoyable dance music. Near the end of their set, I saw a guy look around the room and utter the word “wow.” He was right. Homemade Extacy is definitely worth a listen, but it is their live show that will really impress you. Go see them the next chance you get.
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