Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life
- David Pollock
- 9 November 2017
Glasgow band delivers a slab of mutant disco brilliance
It's all very well that LCD Soundsystem have returned to much fanfare, but dear god, anyone who enjoys the work of James Murphy and co for nostalgic reasons needs to learn to appreciate Glasgow's Golden Teacher as a younger, more wide-reaching, every bit as capable and enthusiastic extension of the DFA spirit. This, their second album if you count the compilation of their first three Optimo Music EPs they released two years ago, is essential and deeply knowledgeable club music of a less obvious variety, the New York No-Wave scene to LCD's Talking Heads.
Recorded at the City's Green Door Studios – that rarest of musical outposts, a recording facility with its own cult following – No Luscious Life fails only in that it never had a chance of transferring the visceral perfection of a Golden Teacher live set to record. Yet it's still a genuinely great, weird, dizzyingly infectious record, a distillation of acid house, post-punk, space rock, industrial and dub reggae sounds which is fiercely of its time and individual.
The opening 'Sauchiehall Withdrawal' sets the scene in breath-taking, get-the-hell-out-of-your-chair fashion, as singer Cassie Oji hollers the soulful, weekend-heralding line 'I'm always working so hard / and for what?' over a squelchy acid groove and a bright, house-driven keyboard line. They drive on through the swirling, psychedelic looped Afrobeat drums of the instrumental 'Diop' and crash into purist old-school house beat 'Spiritron', Charles Lavenac's gasping voice adding heavy sexuality.
There are only seven tracks here, but their versatility means they're as well-suited to listening alone as they are to sticking on with a full house early on Sunday morning. 'The Kazimier' fuses a soulful, trip-hop groove to a spacey dub vocal whoosh; on 'Shatter (Version)', Oji sounds like Grace Jones fronting Throbbing Gristle; 'What Fresh Hell is This?' transmutes what sounds like buzzing fly synth effects and jammed keyboard lines into an impossible to resist beat. The closing title track is furthest out-there, a cut-up sound experiment which bears only a passing resemblance to dance music, yet which somehow perfectly exemplifies the mutant disco brilliance of this most special group.
Out Fri 3 Nov on Golden Teacher Records.