It’s a great thing when bands can mesh cartoon visuals with their music. It in turn enhances the listening experience, and Gangpol & Mit’s, The 1000 Softcore Tourist People Club, is quite the listening experience. This French duo created these characters that manage to represent their synth-pop music perfectly. Although it’s mostly synthetic, you somehow feel like you’re listening to a story.
Gangpol & Mit open the album with a track simply entitled, “Welcome.” It’s a pretty straightforward electro-dance song that’s reminiscent of another French duo, Justice. Things get a little more eccentric with the second track, “The 1000 People Band (Part 1).” It sounds the original recording of the song has been sped up . There’s an abundance of beats in rapid succession and some vocals that go too fast to understand. Around a third of the way through, there’s a sudden tempo change with so many layers of sounds and melodies that it’s hard to decipher everything going on, but it all comes together nicely in the end. The third track, “Otsuki Sama,” features more vocals and would best be described as synth-pop cabaret. Following is the interlude-esque song, “The Enemy I Never Met.” It’s arguably the most melodic track on the album—and a personal favorite. “Browse at Night,” on the other hand is much more moody. It’s easily comparable to Tom Waits’, “Clap Hands.”
The track, “The 1000 People Band (Part 2)” leads us into the half way point of the album with a beautiful orchestration that mixes marimbas and flutes with programming. As we break into the second half of the album, we come to “The Softcore Tourist (Part 2).” This track brings us back to the more direct electro-dance sound we heard earlier. One thing you’ll notice about the latter-half of the album is that the songs are shorter. For example, “The Burial,” is only 32 seconds. It produces more rapid beats and bizarre progressions. It sounds like the musical equivalent of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. There’s no other way to describe it. Another short track, “Skillful Fingers,” blends in an acoustic guitar with vocoder vocals. Gangpol & Mit close the album with “The Enemy I Never Met (Reprise).” It falls short in quality of the original, but it closes the album nicely.
Gangpol & Mit created a highly diverse and trippy album. It may not be for everyone, but it certainly has great melodies and plenty of replay value. The flow is wonderful and feels almost seamless. Lastly, you’re sure to dance to it. At the very least, The 1000 Softcore Tourist People Club deserves a chance.
7.0 / 10
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