One cannot simply deny that the 80’s were one glorious decadeconcerning powerful pop ballads. BRYAN ADAMS, ROXETTE, BON JOVI to just name a few, were ruling the charts. But at the very end of this decade, there was something big happening in Denver, Colorado. This city was just about to become a bright star within the whole cosmos of electronic music. Located between Chicago and San Francisco, the former centres of house music, Denver was the perfect location for Andrew Butler to grow up to. Collecting his first experience as a DJ at the age of 15, it should not have been until 2004, where he decided to form HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR. Since then, Detroit Techno is meeting glam-chic in form of an ever changeable artist collective around the masterming himself.
So HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR are about to release their third record on May 26. Consisting of queer identities, soul singers, Dancers and vocal artists the band members differ from record to record. This time, Butler invited pianoman John Grant, trans-identifier Rouge Mary and Krystle Warren, a baritone chanteuse that seriously gives you the chills, in a positive way. Musically speaking this record is a total success. It is quite euphoric and yet elegant, much more than the previous ones. Butler understands the craft that comes with being a techno intellectual. Behind the big mixer he is putting together a reality of its own. A disco-culture as it should be, powerful and enigmatic.
While Think is by far the most funky tune on the record, That’s me is reminding us of what a true diva house classic should sound like; it is fierce and fun at the same time. But the true dance energy reveals itself in I try to talk to you. This house piano is touchy-feely and bears a deep feeling of melancholia. All over, this record is missing the usual orgiastic moans and vocals, but this is not a bad thing at all. The songs sound mature and Krystel Warrens deep crispy voice has a large share in that, leaving the right amount of velvety feeling in the pit of your stomach.
The atmosphere on The Feast of the Broken Heart is gloomy yet danceable. Listening to this record could easily be compared to a delightful reverie with a taste of bitterness. Only Andrew Butler manages to put together a bunch of amazing artists leaving nothing but ballroom house, dance energy, classy diva songs and dramatic pianos. He delivered an impressive record, that you just want to dance to, again and again.
Andy Butler and HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR bring their concept of soulful retro-driven house music one step closer to dancefloor heaven on ‘The Feast of the Broken Heart.’
NBHAP Rating: 4/5