It should be pretty obvious how difficult it is for any given artist to bring back long-forgotten genres of the past. But it becomes that much more difficult when the genre that is attempting to be revived for this modern era has been repeatedly scrutinized since practically its inception.
That is exactly the all-too-ambitious task that both ICEDOUTOMNITRIX and Dirty Bird were faced with when they voluntarily decided to take up bringing back, of all things, tried and true disco. This genre has been at the wrong end of jokes from both fans and critics alike since its dawn in the 70s, yet with such approaches like modern plunderphonics and vaporwave shedding some contemporary positive light on it, perhaps no time was better than now to explore what modern possibilities exist with it.
And with a duo of talents that cannot be understated whatsoever, it is no surprise that this momentous endeavor went off without a hitch. These two recently joined up for a 6-track full-disco EP in “McFly” — and in knowing the type of chemistry that they exude so naturally, the resulting product was nothing short of brilliant.
Each track on this EP accomplishes exactly what our given producer here has done with some of his past projects like Brainworks and Malware; Dirty Bird has again placed an ideally nuanced twist on genres of the past and in the process introducing them to a modern audience in a modern manner. But this time he is joined by the ever-dynamic ICEDOUTOMNITRIX to really elevate this notion to unfounded levels. Ever since linking up for the first time on the aforementioned Malware album, these two have proven to take their chemistry to unreachable heights as time has moved forward, all culminating in the tracks found on this project entirely.
After a brief instrumental opening in “Mercury Lounge” opens the project up, the back to back masterworks of “New Flame” and “Switch Places” set the bar for the rest of the project to follow in the most ideal way imaginable. These two tracks are rapid-paced disco cuts that see our MC here soar over them with all the elegance and finesse in the world, all with that previously mentioned modern demeanor about it from a vocal perspective.
That demeanor comes about based on both the inflection and lyrical sentiments placed on the vocals themselves, as well as the engineering and mixing utilized from a production standpoint. This sentiment again makes itself clear in the much slower-paced interlude track here “You,” with its soft, yet powerful vocal leads saturating themselves nicely with the laid back and fluttering instrumental.
Things kick back up with the final two tracks here — two tracks that are easily the project’s highlights from an enjoyability standpoint (which is truly saying something given the quality of its predecessors). Nonetheless, both “Starstruck” and the closing “Expensive Taste” are two of the most infectious tracks to come out thus far in 2021, with both Dirty Bird’s outstanding instrumental arrangements and ICEDOUTOMNITRIX’s pop sensibilities being immensely appealing and memorable in their own rights respectively. These two tracks are the thesis for why this extremely untouched approach to disco has so much life in it, and is worth investing in beyond just this EP.
The EP as a whole explains that notion to a tee, however. It not only proves this musical approach as being valid in its staying power, but also how much of an achievement this was for these two to even come through with in the first place. These two created a timeless offering for a once-dated genre, which is just the most admirable and impressive accomplishment when taking everything in. The music certainly stands for itself, but one cannot fully appreciate this EP’s quality without taking these intangibles in as well.