Hoboken's Yo La Tengo is your basic scenester band. Created by rock
journalist and rock-club DJ Ira Kaplan on guitar and his animator
wife, Georgia Hubley, on drums, its vocals verge on the murmured
even when things get loud, which doesn't do much for the lyrics.
And while Kaplan concocts some irresistible riffs, he's never
worked at being consistent about it. But Electro-Pura
the kind of art project scenes are for--only bohemian layabouts
would wallow so shamelessly in gorgeous guitar sound. Exploiting
every tunelet, dissonance, and shard of feedback for a pained
lyricism that speaks worlds about how much they love their record
collection, Kaplan and Hubley make beautiful music together. Anyone
given to contemplating chaos in tranquility will understand.
I assume nobody out there still thinks disco died. Like rock itself, it evolved or mutated--into house and techno, pop funk and hip hop. Which makes Germany's Real McCoy and Britain's M People not revivalists but neoclassicists, devoted to the very '70s craft of fashioning tuneful music with a steady dance beat. What's most impressive about both aggregations is how regularly they succeed--where '70s disco was about great singles, their albums almost never falter. M People's Bizarre Fruit (Epic) is a strong follow-up featuring shouter Heather Small that's guaranteed to satisfy anyone who opened up to 1994's Elegant Slumming. Expertly hooked by beatmaster Olaf Jeglitza for the soft-sung Patricia Peterson and Vanessa Mason, Real McCoy's Another Night (Arista) is more pop, less stridently soulful. Well-rounded fun-seekers will seek out both.
Playboy, June 1995