Experimental dance music that tends to lose luster in its poppier distractions.
It is easy to imagine oneself at some darkened nightclub, covered in sweat and adrenaline while becoming further sucked into the fervor of the music and the scene. It is so easy to imagine that – consequently – subverting this base pleasure through experimentation or syncretism with less savory music styles outside of dance has become unsatisfying for the normal listener.
I already mentioned in my amorphous treatise on “Four-on-the-Floor” dance music that familiarity builds expectation – and that a genre like dance music, powered by machines that are built to defy such expectations (see: vaporwave, excel sheets, folding@home) should be understood as constantly innovative, unresting, ever-searching.
Listening to the brief ninth track “Don’t“, I am met with my own wishes. I am unfamiliar – I hear the set up for a more standard dance beat, yet I would not know how to move. I am placed in a house that should feel like my own but with doors switched and hallways abruptly halting when I want to continue. I am uncomfortable in the most ecstatic way. I am discovering the new.
My only complaint is that Teengirl Fantasy does not invest heavily on its successes. “Don’t” is too short. “Star-Rise” is a hit in all its mediocrity. “Seeds” devolves into a pop-dance-rapper track. “Wet Eyes and Exhilaration” again finds solace in the very standard sounds of the “forward-looking, determined” stance that sounded great in the lo-fi filters of Burial but disingenuous for an album that did not resort so much to this sound for most of the album. Rather than sounding like homage to condescension, 8AM’s successes clash with its diversions into adequate-ness.