Album of the week: Hot Chip; In Our Heads

THE fifth album from the prime practitioners of hipster house is playfully businesslike. “I like Zapp, not Zappa,” they sing in the gently pulsating Night And Day, a classic club thumper masquerading as a cute little pop song.

I hope that Zapp frontman Roger Troutman is suitably impressed by this British slickster five-piece, who manage to reference most dance innovators while throwing some fresh shapes of their own. Chicago House, Krautrock and a comparatively new twist of Air-infused Gallic dance-pop swirl around their musical melting pot, from the polite infectious tone of Let Me Be Him to the intrigue of the opening salvo, Motion Sickness. It is actually a very measured, controlled tune, swathed in richly textured swells of synthesizer, eventually breaking out into bass clarity.

These Chains is testament to the band’s fondness for 1980s electro, but In Our Heads does have the sound of a group resting on its laurels, when further innovation is clearly called for.

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For now this will be sufficient to maintain the status quo, but for all their slacker charm it will eventually take more than a flurry and a flourish of a drum machine to keep Hot Chip at the forefront of a scene constantly reinventing itself. And having to eat Daft Punk’s dust will eventually stick in the throat.

Colin Somerville

Download this: Motion Sickness, Night And Day

Rating: ***