If you hadn’t noticed, there has been a disco revival in New York over the last few years and (surprisingly in a genre dominated by a DJ/Producer with a laptop) one based around a live band. Along with other New York based bands like Escort and Midnight Magic (both of who had debut albums out this year) The Crystal Ark are leading the way in mixing up hard hitting electronic dance with a traditional live sound.
Helmed by LCD Soundsystem’s Gavin Russom, The Crystal Ark’s debut was out on DFA Records earlier this month. While it is not as ‘disco’ as Escort or Midnight Magic are, The Crystal Ark mix pulsating dance floor bass lines and 80’s synths with organic Afro-Latin rhythms and percussion that is both hypnotic and exciting. 9 minute-plus tracks ‘Crossing’ and ‘Silver Chord’ are euphoric dance anthems that just have to be heard. But essentially, this is a band that has to be seen live with ‘the stage bursting with musicians, a pulsing psychedelic light show and visuals, campy costumes and a polymorphous panoply of exotic dancers’ – bring it on!
Lead single ‘We Came To’ builds around a one note bass line that pulses through a crazy mess of percussion, psychedelic organs and yelps of ‘What!?’. The video, which takes place inside a dragonfly in outer space, is pretty insane too: