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LU | LU (pulCec)
A bit of an American indie super-group, this one, as former members of Lorelei, Gloworm, the Saturday People, Whorf and The Lilys all rub shoulders within the ranks of LU. This self titled debut album draws inspiration from both avant-rock circles and left of centre pop groups, channelling both influences into a series of predominantly instrumental pieces, harnessed to fierce motorik grooves. The magnetism of both Neu! and New Order seems to be too strong for LU to resist, as the insistent tom-tom clatter of Klaus Dinger and the melodic roar of Peter Hook's basslines are lovingly recreated on many of the tracks here. In fact, the willingness to allow the intrusion of basic pop elements into a notoriously serious field of music is quite refreshing. On the album opener Mood Elevator, E-chord mantras are driven along by a ridiculously over amplified Glitterband thud, which is followed by the cheeky, pulsing synthesiser line of Biometric Authentication, pushed along by Syndrums straight out of the Human League's Black Hit of Space. LU's affection for early 80's leftfield pop is demonstrated again in the dubby bass and delayed drums of Aquarium Furniture, alluding to an amalgam of PIL's techniques on both Metal Box and Rise. The instrumental mood of the album is interrupted by the female vocal pronouncements of the moodily titled Hot Knives, for after the erratic numerical countdown, angular Fall guitars and dirty fuzz bass sprint for the finishing line, with urgent electronic drums closely pursuing. This is one of the album's most prominent pieces, but the unlikely collisions between post rock and house/disco rhythms are the most successful endeavours here. After a tribute to the unmistakable intro to Blue Monday, spindly guitar figures ride the storm of 4/4 beats on Sofa Compact, as if, after initial misgivings, Dub Housing era Pere Ubu are shaking their collective asses on the dance-floor. Expressway Ends continues this theme but also adding Squarepusher style clicks and FX to the mix. In light of these tracks, the Krautpop pastiche that makes up the bulk of LU's debut becomes endearing yet ultimately ineffectual, particularly when their appreciation of satisfyingly dumb Spiller/Stardust style rhythms and effects produces such interesting results.

Simon Berkovitch
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002