Parisian boys Black Strobe are experts on genre terrorism. Their material teaches you that dance music does not have to give off positive vibes; it can be equally as dramatic as heavy rock. Their latest effort, ‘Going Back Home’ reminds me of early Kraftwerk having a rather steamy relationship with Marilyn Manson.
Arnaud Rebotini and his gang return after two years away from the limelight. The renowned French producer looks to take his band forward after the recent success of featuring in the work of Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese.
Black Strobe, who describe their music as “frozen, Balearic, gay, biker house” deliver their trademark, reliable individuality in EP opener and title track ‘Going Back Home.’ The cymbal-heavy house beat is fluctuated with samples and synths, creating an atmosphere that only Rebotini can. When the vocals come in, the mood of the track completely changes. The Duran Duran/Depeche Mode tones are overshadowed. Even if you listened to this track over and over again, I still think you’d be surprised to hear the tone of the singing. Yet this is just the unpredictability, originality and the sheer brilliance of Arnaud Rebotini.
‘The House of Good Lovin” sounds like a different set of musicians have picked up a different set of instruments and played a completely different song. Like their hit ‘I’m a Man’ suggests, versatility is the name of the game. Grungy blues guitars are caked in synthesizers, it’s all finished off with reminiscing Elvis Presley style vocals. Which is fitting, as the final track of the EP, ‘Tiger man’ was made popular to many, by the King.
Black Strobe haven’t simply ‘covered’ this song, but have completely recreated the feel and persona of the whole thing. Their recognizable signature touch comes into play as the track is taken to a new level.
To write ‘I’m a Man’ and then to peak afterwards would be a grueling task. Most people would think that all new material is a complete comedown after that success. But you couldn’t be more wrong. A fantastic effort, expect the reliable craftsmanship you’re used to hearing.