Know nothing and crash on through. One of the best parts of stumbling onto albums, bleary-eyed in a Bandcamp surfing Saturday evening, Ted Lasso on one-screen and a half-read pile of Lester Bangs and Stewart Lee off to the side, is that the music found can pull you out of a rut or poor feel. Enter Robbing Millions, whose work on their latest album, Rêve Party, is a shot to the heart and a shakeup to the system. Striking through so nicely with opening track Magicians, it is the perfect album for shaking the sleep out of your eyes, for taking a jab at a brain that is not quite there. Freak out and push on. Rêve Party will, with or without you.
That dance-pop appeal comes from Lucien Fraipont, the Belgian musician with hands-on everything throughout. Same Skin throws a tenor saxophone in there, crashing through the resourceful, blinking Fraipont mix. Mattias de Craene clicks that brass into place and what a change it makes. Electronica flows over this second track, one of three singles, and until the smooth and worthy saxophone hits through, it is a nice continuation of the energy found on opening track Magicians. Rêve Party is keen to show off its energy through smart mixing and a strong mind at work in the studio. Slower, wavy charms for Doctor are founded once more on that Craene saxophone work. Always shunted to the latter half of a track he features in, always the best part. He holds firm in a vivid art-pop evolution. There is a quirkiness in the style and longevity that follows these orchestrations.
Bloodshot eyes and hopes of sleep are torpedoed by the spiralling, sinister electronics on Believe Her. Springing to action and shaking off that call to arms just as quickly, Rêve Party maintains consistency in its fundamental layers. Those drum programmes and keyboards are constant and give Robbing Millions a sound that works for them. Shockingly moving, or maybe that is sleep deprivation. Either way, it brings a tear to the eye, an electronic style that is totally taken by its instrumentals, so fully convinced of them as the way forward. Rave Party is anything but, an ironically soft track that relies on Fraipont’s staggered and striking electric guitar, the groove it takes isolated and seemingly standing alone among a sea of other instruments and muttered, sultry lyrics.
Willing to throw what they can at the wall, with the funk of Elastics matching nicely with the Ratatat-like focus on frequency and pace, highlighted best on Jabberwocky, Robbing Millions move and flow with a wild style. An album to fall in love with and to, for its tightly worked electronic jazz and its spaced-out appeal. Floaty, intimate and extraordinary. Eyes in agony, the tensions building to punishing levels, Rêve Party serves as a cleansing, soulful experience. At times nostalgic for the electronic scope it provides, reminding of those sweeter, innocent days when hooks and riffs were still exciting to point out and fall for. You want sleep? You click on anyway, to the next track and the next track. When Mécanique Ondulatoire and Royal Path are closing things off, squaring up the album, it is hard to resist departing halfway through.