Mr. Tophat and Robyn Trust Me
Published Jan 11, 2017After remixing two Robyn tracks, Stockholm producer Mr. Tophat decided to go direct to the source for this trio of nu-disco house floor-fillers. While each song could stand alone as its own 12-inch — they span nine to 15 minutes apiece — together, they suggest that Robyn is still more interested in deconstructing the disco diva persona than offering up a followup to her 2010 neo-pop classic Body Talk.
As with recent collaborations with Röyksopp and La Bagatelle Magique, Trust Me finds the singer taking a back seat to her collaborators — the title track is the closest thing to a new Robyn song here and, though a perfectly fine club track, it's also the EP's weakest offering. Far better are the vaguely dubby "Right Time" and the epic "Disco Davato," which sees Mr. Tophat let loose, distorting his partner-in-crime's vocals to the point that they become indecipherable. Meanwhile, his instrumentals showcase the crisp, stripped house style heard on his many collaborations with fellow Karlovak Recordings founder Art Alfie.
One can't help but feel let down by the collaboration, though. Robyn's post-Body Talk work has been typified by a willingness to break free of pop forms in favour of exploring new sounds. Mr. Tophat, though a top-notch producer and DJ, is far more formal in his approach, and there's a conservative bent to these three songs that belie the emotional catharsis we've come expect from Robyn.
Though billed as a Mr. Tophat project first and foremost, Trust Me is ultimately weighed down by his collaborator's past triumphs. Though they are no doubt killer floor-fillers, outside the club, these three songs can't quite hold listeners' attention. (Smalltown Supersound)