Okay, close your eyes and try and get this going. You are in Paris. You have stumbled across an underground dance club. The dim light and frequent glimpses of illicit drug use make your skin jump and crawl. Black lights and relentless strobe effects envelop the dance floor, and you end up dancing with a stranger who seems soon to turn a lover. And the only possible soundtrack to that scenario is Black Strobe.
And the seven-track, forty-minute-long Chemical Sweet Girl EP, a collection of Black Strobe’s previously vinyl-only Output releases, is undeniable European-doom-disco that intertwines hard, almost rock beats with the darker side of the dance-track medium. This Parisian production duo of Ivan Smagghe and Arnaud Robotini are like dark-wave rock ‘n’ roll darlings; their synths hit every bit as gainy/sexy/heavy as the Melvins’ guitars, only with that sleek sex-mood of thrill-kill disco.
The EP’s closing track is exactly what I needed most this year from dance music. “Chemical Sweet Girl [Alter Ego Remix]” ‘s cut-and-paste, mechanical noises rip and pan around the beat, infiltrating the rhythm and inducing full-scale seductive-de-constructive ambience.
Chemical Sweet Girl should be in every goth club, every rock club and every dance club, but I’ll leave it to those who dig the good stuff, be it AC/DC, Kylie or Ministry, to clamp it to their players and fuck in its glory.