If you're one of those lucky souls blessed with the gift of synesthesia, you may not feel so lucky when listening to this album. What you'll picture in your mind's eye when you hear Darkdancer is the worst music video you've ever seen: feather-haired folks in red leather jackets with a surfeit of diagonal zippers wandering through a landscape of fluorescent geometric shapes. At the climax, everything moves in slow motion. Welcome back to the '80s. Les Rhythmes Digitales, a.k.a. Jacques Lu Cont (an Englishman despite the name), digs that woebegone decade enough to make up for everyone else's lack of enthusiasm. On what is for all intents and purposes his debut, he's aimed his arsenal of vintage analog synths at your nostalgia and pleasure zones. The result is a smooth tour of Eurythmic bass lines, vocoderizations, and a guest appearance from Canadian big-in-the-U.K. '80s singer Nik Kershaw. Considering how gimmicky the conception is, it's a surprisingly amenable listen from start to finish, though only on the astonishing single "Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat)" does he tweak his source material enough to make clear he's capable of keeping some distance from his silliest indulgences. --Jeff Salamon
Les Rythmes Digitales's Darkdancer album was way ahead of it's time so people didn't know what to do with this excellent release from 1999 when it came out. Most anyone who was into electronica back when this was released they were either dancing to the euphoric beats of trance or chilling to a downbeat track in the backroom of a club.
As I listen to this album today it still sounds very fresh. Every track is very nicely produced by Stuart Price aka Les Rhy. He even brings on Shannon of Let The Musi Play fame and the Wouldn't It Be Good musician Nik Kershaw on a couple of the tracks. The album sounds like the early 1980s dance music with the added electronic elements of today. None of these tracks sound tired at all. And when you listen Take A Little Time with Shannon on vocals it takes you back not to 1999 but to 1984 when Shannon had the big hit with Let The Music Play. Or the Nik Kershaw sung track Sometimes sounds like New Wave all over again.
Darkdancer still sounds good today and it has many excellent tracks like Hypnotise, Dreamin', (Hey You) What's That Sound?, Brothers, Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat), Music Makes You Lose Control and About Funk. So get it if you don't have it already as it's a masterpiece.
I got into this CD after seeing the video to '(hey you)what's that sound'. picture a parachute pant, Michael Jackson leather jacket wearing Jacques be-boping his way through the streets of NYC carrying one of those keyboard guitar things followed by a group of 80s fashion disaster clad people (we're talking leg warmers, sweatsuits, terry cloth headbands and that god awful color combination of heather grey and pink)culminating with a breakdance contest and you pretty much get the feeling of this CD.
It's cheese but it's good cheese and much fun to listen to. If nothing else buy this CD for the excellent song 'sometimes'. It's a dead ringer for soft cell and if you didn't know that it was les rhythmes you definitely would think that it was soft cell even down to the male vocalist who sounds remarkably like mark almond (although i don't think it's him).Definitely my favorite track that has been set on 'repeat' on my stereo.
Buy this only if you can look back on 80s music fondly. If you hate the 80s and everything about it, then steer clear of this release.