Album Review: Pretty Good Dance Moves’ LIMO

Pretty Good Dance Moves

LIMO

MAD Dragon Records/Township Records

Release Date: February 7, 2012

Track Listing

  1. 1st Movement
  2. 2nd Movement (1000 Sasa)
  3. 3rd Movement
  4. 4th Movement
  5. 5th Movement
  6. 6th Movement
  7. 7th Movement
  8. 8th Movement (I Wonder Why)

Personnel

Jimmy Giannopolous

Aaron Allieta

Sabina Scuibba – vocals

The Brooklyn-based electronica act Pretty Good Dance Moves got their start when Jimmy Giannopolous and Aaron Allieta, the creative core of the group combined their analog synthesizers and drum machines and began experimenting with electronica/electronic dance music tracks back in 2006. Giannopolous and Allieta independently released a series of demos which caught the attention of Seattle’s famed (and quite influential) KEXP, which invited the duo to come in and do a live in-studio performance when the station was broadcasting in Chicago. As it turned out, that performance was not only the band’s first ever live set; it was listed by KEXP staff members as one of the best in-studio sets that year. 

  For a couple of years Pretty Good Dance Moves spent some time collaborating and cutting tracks with Bjorn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn, and John; Lissy Trullie and Patience Hodgson of The Grates; Linnea Johnson of Those Dancing Days; and Genevieve Schatz of Company of Thieves. The February release of LIMO, the follow up to their self-titled EP, sees the band taking a different approach from their previous work. Much like countless acts have been forced to do in the iTunes and mp3 era, their earlier material focused more on singles that could be independently released and played. Comprised of 8 movements, LIMO was written and recorded with the intention of being a full record – the sort of record that must be listened to from start to finish as a whole.

   With that concept in mind, LIMO will both fairly and unfairly draw comparisons to LCD Soundsystem’s 45:33. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy was commissioned by Nike to create a soundtrack to accompany jogging workouts with segments specifically designed to reward and push at certain intervals of a run. In fact, the tracks have beats that closely resemble that of a heartbeat during exertion. And although each track deftly moves to another, you can listen to individual tracks without a sense of context. LIMO, on the other hand was written with the classical musician’s sense of composition – similar to Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, you’ll hear themes built up, repeated, slowed down, sped up or in slightly different keys. It works as a sort of overarching connective tissue between each song. And perhaps just as well, the repetition of certain musical phrases and ideas work as a subliminal hint – as an emotional cue, and as a way to focus the listener’s attention. The themes manage to resonate even more when Brazilian Girls’ Sabina Scuibba contributes lyrics which talk about declining sunsets, and the end of a hazy, halcyon past.

    Part of this album’s charm is the fact that you can’t possibly listen to it as a series of individual tracks because you’d immediately lose something in the experience. Whereas LCD Soundsystem’s work accurately described the modern sensibility of irony and self-obsessed neuroticism, LIMO just comes off more sincere and at times more playful. In my mind PGDM’s latest effort is an electronica/electronic dance music album that doesn’t have a traditional club banger – but that’s also the point. It’s more suited for listening to on a great set of headphones or at home where the attention span is often much longer.