February 14, 2008

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Hot Chip, Made in the Dark
Astralwerks Records, Feb. 5
Limey laptop collective Hot Chip has already exhibited plenty of tongue-lolling exuberance toward pretty much every genre you could imagine. They’re a formidable crew of techie-mishmashers, not as discombobulated as Justice or Datarock owing to a good chunk of catchy radio-tailored dance tunes, their third LP evoking Chemical Brothers gone nu-rave, a lot of danceable cockeyed-ness, random tangents everywhere. As before, there’s a little — very little — flirting with hip-hop (and its fringes, as witnessed in the reggaeton-and-conga-line Zoloft-along “Touch Too Much), but from the presence of goobery falsetto singing and some nifty rave samples (the crow-cawing in “Shake a Fist” for one) we can glean they were deeply touched by the last Klaxons album. ”Out At the Pictures” launches into some cheesed-down Trans Siberian Orchestra pomposity that settles into a nu-mod vs Madness floor-filler before you realize what’s happened; “Ready For the Floor” is equal parts hillbilly-techno and “You Might Think”-era Cars. B — E. W. S.