Maybe we love Crystal Fighters a little too much? Maybe we don’t love them enough?
All I know is their gig on Thursday night at the recently opened XOYO in Shoreditch was superb. Something I’m sure the packed crowd who also enjoyed over 90 minutes of audio battery will agree.
They are currently embarking on a UK tour and supporting The Foals to coincide with the release of their new album ‘Star of Love’.
The album itself is a melting pot of sounds and genres that have been regular features on a blog not a million miles away from here. Ranging from the hard hitting bass of ‘In The Summer’, to the Balearic beats of the excellent ‘Champion Sound’, whilst the incorporation of some electro house in to the mix creates interesting hybrids such as ‘Solar System’ and ‘Swallow’. In ‘Follow” and ‘Plage’ you can sense a very strong folk feel which is juxtaposed against the minimal tech of ‘I Love London’ and the interstellar sounds of ‘With You’. The stand out track has to be ‘Xtatic Truth’, if only for the fact its one of the few songs thats guaranteed to get me pogoing around the dancefloor at their gigs like an elated teenager. No mean feat, trust me.
The band’s use of authentic Basque folk instruments such as the txalaparta on ‘I Do This Everyday’ is commendable but may feel like a gimmick. They may have even have introduced the world to ‘Basque Beat’, but they could also be described as the Spanish Klaxons and they won’t want to be labelled with any labels like Nu Rave 2.0. Better to lump the band with other great Spanish breakthroughs of late, such as Delorean and El Guincho, who have all cottoned onto the UK music scene and produced distinctive and yet familiar records that are internationally appreciated.
All in all many may be put off by the seemingly haphazard conjoining of many elements from a plethora of genres and sub-genres. But don’t be hasty to judge, as underpinning the whole album is a thoughtful use of layering and construction. The arrangement of the album could probably do with some tweaking as, at times, it seems to have little in the way of a confluent course, but on the whole the amount of creativity and energy in the album overwhelms most of it’s weaknesses. What we have here is a really special fusion of different sounds and styles which in itself makes it a bit of a one off. My advice would be to drop the definitions and just enjoy the album as it comes.
The album is released today and you can listen to it free of charge here
… then buy it!