Feature

Hercules and Love Affair

In this debut album, Hercules and Love Affair celebrates the decade of 1970s disco music and successfully brings back "the carousing spirit of the era."

Hercules and Love Affair
Hercules and Love Affair
(DFA)

****

Disco isn’t dead, said New Musical Express. On this self-titled debut, Hercules and Love Affair resuscitates the carousing spirit of the era in all its glitter-ball glory. Brooklyn DJ Andrew Butler has pulled together a party of New York characters, headed by Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons. They all revel in the “rhythms and starry percussion, the strutting bass lines and shimmering musicality” of the 1970s. Yet the album is a celebration of the decade, rather than a “painstaking re-creation.” It doesn’t quite add up to Saturday Night Fever, said Dan Weiss in The Village Voice. But Hercules and Love Affair definitely cranks “up the heat” with its neo-disco. The “quavering acrobatics” of Hegarty’s vocals, which can come off as lonely and mournful on his own recordings, find a groove on these “sensational” dance tunes. On the euphoric “Blind,” his voice perfectly matches Butler’s whirling beats. Butler’s brainchild at first seems a “flighty, hedonistic proposition,” said Steve Jelbert in the London Times. But it works. From the horn chants of “Hercules Theme” to the cascading synthesizer on “True False, Fake Real,” he propels the tracks forward with flashbacks, and “pays tribute to a lost generation.”

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