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Reviews

Golden Teacher
No Luscious Life Brendan Telford , December 18th, 2017 09:28

A warm and subversive album for ravers, poets and babies.

Glasgow collective Golden Teacher take the harder edges and contorted beats of house and transfuse disparate elements into its bloodstream – tropicalia percussion, spiked disco, anxious dub, spaced and frayed electronica. The six-piece continue to push the disco envelope on No Luscious Life. The songs are actually seven suites (on what is their seventh release) of kaleidoscopic, expansionist flailing and freedo(o)m, the only throughline being that they remain inherently odd and pleasurable.

The perfect opener, ‘Sauciehall Withdrawal’ marries an insouciant funk beat with off-kilter disco sheen and a mantra that ensures that regardless of the inarticulacies that we face in this warped year/decade/century, we won’t step down. It is overtly familiar and warm yet almost militant in its insistence that the political lies not far from the personal, that switching off invariably means remaining switched on, that to be free you have to know that you are part of the machine.

It’s chased up by ‘Diop’, a homage to Senegalese poet Aby Ngana Diop, and a discombobulated percussive piece that is cartoonish and sinister, mixing teeth-gritting anxiety with an inexorable rhythm. The ebb and flow of disparity continues – the sleazy disco melt of ‘Spiritron’ is hip-thrusting love on the interstellar plane, tethered to a syncopated beat, seemingly in control, before everything starts clattering and cascading. ‘The Kazimier’ is a woozy Wurlitzer of a track that again feels ominous even as the sinuous dub beats keep the body moving to the end of time. This is down to Cassie Ojay’s indecipherable, slurred cadences.

‘Shatter (Version)’ takes us into a dystopian post-punk dub drawl, a trawl through the distorted and damaged backwaters of distant memory that is creepy as fuck even as it invigorates. ‘What Fresh Hell Is This?’ as a title sounds like it’ll take us another level deeper, but instead leads us into a cerebral hall of mirrors infused with LSD and a lack of oxygen, all twangs, stretched notes, whining squelches and echoed bleeps.

‘No Luscious Life’ sees us through to the exit ramp, and is the only track that seems to legitimately connect any of the songs – because it has eaten all of the songs up into a percolating, heaving behemoth of rhythm and light, a phantasmagorical fever dance.

No Luscious Life has a manic punk belief that nothing should stick, that no summit be reached, that no dawn lights the horizon. The party continues in whatever way, shape or form is possible; let the mood, fatigue, drugs or endorphins lead you where they may. To finish on an anecdote – I have returned to ‘Sauciehall Withdrawal’ time and again in the early hours of the morning, not because I’m still on the zoom up or the glide down, but because it is perfect for a grumbling five-month-old. Without fail, when I play this track, she goes from frustration and anxiety to unabashed gummy glee and giggling. When you get the seal of approval from an infant capable of intuiting only a handful of broad emotions, you’re doing something right.

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