Alfred Darlington has always incorporated a pointedly experimental electronic aesthetic alongside his background as a classically trained musician. Many capable electronic musicians are often written off as “dance music” producers, yet Darlington, who records as Daedelus, usually manages to simultaneously impress the hipsters, the academics, and the nerds. Fair Weather Friends, however, is certainly more for the dance floor than the armchair.
The five-track EP is unrepentant in its accessibility. The opening title track immediately makes the tone of the EP clear: This is Daedelus at his happiest, danciest, and friendliest. The tune, like the other four on the record, is made of warm, catchy synth lines, upbeat breaks, and occasional sprinkles of vocal samples. The rest of the EP follows suit. Those of us waiting for the new Avalanches record may find a temporary fix in Fair Weather Friends, especially with the last two tracks, “El Subidon” and “Bonjour,” both of which flirt with thick, cheerful disco.
For the most part, Daedelus’s charm, production skills, and knack for song architecture is not lost in his quest for danceability (the tongue-in-cheek rendition of Ghost Town DJs’ “My Boo” is more awkward than satisfying). And it’s certainly less heady, dense, or unpredictable than 2004’s A Gent Agent. Density, however, is not the point: It’s an invitation to dance, not to think.