Tussle Kling Klang

[Troubleman Unlimited; 2004]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: instrumental disco/funk
Others: Les Georges Leningrad, ESG, Liquid Liquid

I currently live in the sticks -- with my parents. Before this, I lived in the city of Albany, where I went to school and avoided clubs; where if you wanted to rock out, it had to be some screamy hardcore prototype; and if you wanted to dance, it had to be mainstream hip hop or some insipid techno music. So I've led a somewhat sheltered life. If this is off-putting to you, so be it. I like to dance, but I can only really get into the spirit of things when we're talking funk music (okay, ska is pretty fun too). Throw on some Poets of Rhythm (hot!) or some JBs (even hotter!) and I can't stop myself from breaking out into a maniacal, sweaty shuffle. People should gimme room and people should most definitely laugh, because I'm probably laughing myself from the sheer unashamed joy that I feel.

The music of Tussle inspires a more muted version of this sort of reaction in me. It's not particularly rich music, but it gets you moving your feet anyway. This isn't music for casual listening, but if it was blasted at your club (as I'm sure it is in hipper locales), you might listen to it later as a reminder of the great sweat-soaked night of getting' down that you had the past weekend. I'd like to move somewhere where people dance to bands like these without feeling like they might bump into some overly judgemental, chin-scratching hipster fuck. If Tussle's onstage, those who don't want to move should find a place in the back. They may be something of an "indie" act, being a Troubleman signing, but theirs is a sound that transcends that stuffy aesthetic distance that so many jerks bring to underground music shows. Maybe I'm just talking about most of the New Yorkers I've encountered at Irving Plaza or (especially) The Bowery Ballroom. They're great venues on their own, but they sure bring in some of the most annoying indie-snob patrons you've ever seen. Someday soon, I'll be seeing them at a Tussle show and shaking my fat ass in their stupid faces, and that's something to smile about indeed.

But right now I'm in the sticks, and if I'm dancing, chances are I'm dancing alone. Lord knows I'll drag this disc to my friend's place for new years, and people will like it, but I'll still be the only one dancing. You might find all this pathetic, but you shouldn't let that stop you from checking out Kling Klang. It's a little sparse in terms of variety, and there aren't any true standouts (shy of the comparatively variant, previously released "Tight Jeans"). There isn't much to latch onto besides the groove. They sound much like a somewhat less innovative version of the great Outhud, never deviating from a steady dubby bass, echo and drums progression. But it's a lot fun to dance to, even if you're a shuffling solo-flier like myself.

1. Here It Comes
2. Nightfood
3. Eye Contact
4. Ghost Barber
5. Comma
6. Disco D'Oro
7. Decompression
8. Moon Tempo
9. Blue Beat
10. Fire is Hot
11. Tight Jeans