The Asphodells – Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust
Andrew Weatherall's collaboration with Timothy J. Fairplay (ex-Battant) immediately comes with a weight of expectation – after all, Weatherall was the man who produced the seminal dance/indie crossover album Screamadelica, not to mention the production history under his own name, and the moniker Two Lone Swordsmen.
The Asphodells project offers a selection of tracks linked by an aesthetic that is equal parts spaced-out disco, shimmering post-punk and classic house, techno and electro. It's all solid – each repetitive groove given just enough space to shine.
When it really takes off, as on the minor-chord, melodica-inflected punk-funk of opener Beglammered; the sublime, tweaked, proto-acid squelches of Another Lonely City, with its Factory-esque guitars; the sprawling, fucked-up disco of A Love From Outer Space parts one and two, or the even more New Order-influenced The Quiet Dignity (of Unwitnessed Lives), it's an absolute joy to experience.
Arguably, Passion / Lust is a record out of time, engaging more convincingly with the heritage of British dance music than its present or future. But as a masterclass in the marriage of guitars, synths and club beats it is virtually peerless, with an understated, fragile beauty.