San Serac Professional

With enough musical smarts, the old can easily become new again. Just take a look at the post-punk revival or mash-up culture. Or check out San Serac (aka Nat Rabb), whose album, Professional, takes a journey through the house, disco and funk of yore, not to mention the aesthetics of "Thin White Duke”-era Bowie, Bryan Ferry and Moroder-helmed Sparks. And while throwbacks to the past, especially the ’80s, may be wearing thin these days, Professional has enough twists and turns to make this voyage interesting. With a mishmash of slap bass, canned percussion and electro funk keyboards, San Serac keeps the songwriting off-kilter and instrumentation playful, never borrowing too heavily from any one source or taking himself too seriously. After all, how serious can you be when you deliver your lines with a faux-R&B croon? If anything, Professional is worth investigating for its brilliant makeover of Bowie’s Scary Monsters anthem, "Teenage Wildlife,” which is mutated into an almost-unrecognisable electro jam. Yes, it appears San Serac has enough smarts to make the old new again. (Normals Welcome)