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Review: The Rapture, Tapes

3.5

The Rapture, Tapes

Of the nearly two dozen house, disco and hip-hop gems selected by NYC disco-punk standard-bearers the Rapture for inclusion on Tapes, two in particular stand out as representative of the continuum this borderline-great mix CD navigates. The first, which the band’s unspecified DJ drops about a third of the way in, is Don Armando’s deliriously joyous 1979 remix of “I’m an Indian Too,” from Annie Get Your Gun. Don Armando, perhaps better known as Kid Creole, reinvigorates the Irving Berlin-penned, Ethel merman-sung curio into a stone-cold disco classic. The revamp of the Broadway footnote (now excised from revivals of the show thanks to alarmingly racist lyrics like “Just like Battle Axe, Hatchet Face, Eagle Nose/Like those Indians, I’m an Indian too”) functions as commentary, transforming ignorance into self-criticism with the magical power of camp. The second, which wraps up second-half world tour of more modern electronic music, is Paul Johnson’s 1999 megaclub classic “Get Get Down.” Once steamrollered by overuse, a decade out of vogue has done the track justice, and its sparse yet maximal funk still sounds remarkably fresh. The two tracks bring Tapes’s lost-classic-treasure-hunt mandate into focus. And the fact that the rest of the mix is sharply sequenced (if, in places, somewhat cavalierly blended) helps articulate the argument it makes: specifically that, contrary to popular belief, disco never died. The most protean, blended of genres simply shifted gears and made itself over, and it has done so a dozen times more since then. Even if the Rapture really hasn’t made much music that sounds like this (their rockist tendencies generally get the better of them), it’s nice to know that they’re in touch with this fact.

Label: K7 Release Date: November 24, 2008 Buy: Amazon

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