With a stripped-down list of members and a lean, tech-pop sound, Gus Gus's Attention gets more from less, building a lively, kinetic sound that draws heavily from old-school acid house and new-school electro. Instead of taking the usual crowd of filmmakers, artists, and even some musicians into the studio, only a trio of regular members contributed to Attention, along with vocalist Earth, whose pipes give the record's spare rhythms an edge of diva-funk. It can make for a pretty sexy sound, as tracks like "David" (featuring the provocative refrain "I still have last night in my body") attain a hands-in-the-air momentum. But overall, the diversity of the music is what keeps the record afloat, as Gus Gus piece together an aggressively modern sound from a cleverly chosen selection of early techno influences. Throughout the record, the synths are as bright as anything you'd find at an early '90s hyper-rave, but they're often integrated into synth-pop structures; "Unnecessary" sounds like something Soft Cell might be recording right now in a perfect world. While the record's jumbled approach starts to wear itself out toward the end, Gus Gus have the requisite big ears and open minds to keep it interesting. --Matthew Cooke
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Icey hot electro funk
0=0 | Earth | 07/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just found out that these guys are going to play live in dc again soon and ended up listening to this disc again. Memories of how this scaled- down group from Iceland thoroughly rocked the 9:30 club a few years ago came flooding back. Apparantly some people still can't get past the fact that Gus Gus are no longer a nine piece mega-circus who make spooky downtempo albums for 4ad. To those people I say please GET OVER IT. Granted "Polydistortion" was a fantastic and timeless release, and in my opinion, "This is Normal" was mediocre. Still, the same electric Gus Gus heart beats strong throughout "Attention", only it's a bit dirtier, nastier, and funkier. This album grabbed my attention from beginning to end with it's raw electro and techno beats more geared for the dancefloor than the fat chair. There are still plenty of beautiful synths and textures throughout, just a bit more minimal and sparringly applied. The production on this recording is superb and they display a well-schooled knowledge of electronic dance music's history. There are very electro-sounding tracks on here as well as trancey and stomping, soaring techno-based songs. And no,these guys are not to be confused with the whole crap electro-clash scene or forgettable trance pap by the likes of Oakey or Paul VanDyke or whatever boring as sin cookie cutter designer hipster drivel is being made currently. There is a very cool Icelandic feel throughout the disc and singer Earth warms things up with some of the most soulful vocals to be found anywhere today. This is a very accessable and extroverted release that should be in any lover of electronic dance music's collection. This is not for people who can't get over the past or have a problem with dancing."