Luke Slater Alright On Top

It's the same old story: a genre percolates in the background for a couple years, building up a niche following and a few movers and shakers, eventually someone gives it a more marketable name and boom, the bandwagon gets jumped. And so the freshly dubbed "electroclash" scene faces its highest-profile carpetbagger yet with Alright on Top from Luke Slater, the highly respected South London tech-noir DJ/producer. But as much as one would like to diss it for moral reasons alone, Slater has nonetheless produced an absolutely outstanding record. Teaming up with Aloof singer Ricky Barrow, he's put together an album that sounds utterly of the moment while evoking the '80s in both sonics and style. Old-school synths, vocodorised vocals and other non-original devices are employed and the sum proves far greater than its parts would suggest. Despite utilising the same devices as his fellow electro revivalists, Slater takes the genre from ironic, nostalgic party tunes to propulsive, body-rockin' dance floor destroyers that rock melodies as big as all hell. And when he gets all "retro" serious, as on "Stars and Heroes," you can't help but sing along, picturing yourself copping a feel during a high school slow dance. (Mute)