Vitalic – Fade Away EP

Vitalic – Fade Away EP

There are many things to love about Vitalic. His attention to detail is second to none, his beats punchy and his synths sometimes raging, sometimes beautiful. Sometimes both. He creates a feel and a texture in way few can manage whilst hitting you in the face at the same time. His second album Flashmob was phenomenal – offering both punchy crowd pleasers like Poison Lips and One Above One, and bashing, trippy techno like Flashmob itself and See The Sea. For his third album, Rave Age, Vitalic maintains the great production work, and there are still some fantastic moments even if it’s not the complete piece Flashmob was.

But where Vitalic picked some great vocalists for the previous album (the female singer on Poison Lips sounds like a distracted Debbie Harry, and all the better for it), on Rave Age it’s a bit more mixed. Sure there’s a mad French girl entreating you to die on the dancefloor over the heaviest synths in the album later on (La Mort Sur La Dancefloor), but Fade Away, whilst a decent rolling dance track makes me itchy. If you, like many, found DVNO all those years ago a bit like stepping into a strongly suppressed Eurodance nightmare, you may have a similar flashback here. It’s a pop track, sure, but given someone of Vitalic’s talent I find it hard to file under anything but ‘WHY?!?!?!’ It’s just so, easy, so obvious, so sanitised. The vocals are somewhat saved by the lead synth, which initially sounds like it’s going to be cheese central but just won’t – quite – stay – in – tune – and pulls a twisted aspect into things which probably saves the track from a harsher verdict.

Hastily moving on, so what about the remixes?The Formentera rework pushes the vocals fully front of stage at first (aaaaagh), but then pulls you into a shaky post club universe where the original song bounces around with its levels all out of whack from what you would have expected – a decent impression of how your brain feels at whatever o’clock in the morning with pieces of the night before relentlessly looping round in your mind.

The C2C remix is a higher speed sub-80s offering, with a helpful cut up vocoder version of the vocals that are enjoyable mostly because you aren’t forced to hear them in their entirety. A pretty low impact track – certainly not something to throw into at your next headline DJ slot at the Center Parcs roller disco – but a nice vibe to it.

The NOOB remix however represents a serious rethinking of the bones of the track, and is all the better for it. Hints of Soulwax, dubby undertones and the bass banging in the centre of your mind. This is a proper remix. The vocal this time is completely dehumanised, filtered, detached, mumbling into a void of nothing at all whatsoever – while the main synth line pulses and prods throughout. The lead synth from the original, suddenly out of order and tune, pauses and revolves against your previous expectations, then BANG off we go again! Hints of Donna Summer mix with synths from 1992, both morphing under the drive of the main bassline and enticing you to pull back and push forward at the same time. Deep, dubby, discoey goodness and very much recommended. THIS will have you with your hands in the air at 3am, trust me.

Despite the flaws of a single that quite simply isn’t for me, you know what? I cannot wait to see Vitalic next Thursday at KOKO. You put the best parts of his work together in a live setting and he is about as fun as it gets. And let’s be honest, though I’ve been a bit critical, when he throws this track into the set at full volume, after midnight, and the bass drum is cutting through my ribcage, I’ll be singing along alright. And I will be having a fucking great time. Maybe that was the point all along?!


Vitalic is playing a live set at The Playground on Thursday 28th March in KOKO, with support from Yuksek and Etienne De Crecy.

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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.