MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Cut Copy “Free Your Mind” – Album Review

Modular (2013)

Six months after Jagwar Ma’s debut drew comparisons with vintage The Stone Roses, Melbourne quartet Cut Copy continue Australia’s unlikely love affair with the late 80s Madchester movement with a fourth album, Free Your Mind, largely inspired by Britain’s second Summer Of Love.

Due for a Nov. 5 release, co-produced with Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips), the follow-up to 2011’s Zonoscope also throws the odd nod to Ian Brown and company, such as the jangly “Waterfall”-esque riff on “Take Me Higher” and the sun-soaked baggy pop of the opening title track. But Free Your Mind is a far more clubbier affair than their compatriots’ “Mad For It” revival.

Current single “We Are Explorers” celebrates the euphoria of the dancefloor amidst a wave of firing lasers, shimmering synths and tribal percussion. “Let Me Show You Love” combines the anthemic vocal hook from K Klass’ UK house classic with some blissed-out slow-motion beats and a throbbing Giorgio Moroder-ish bassline, while “Meet Me In A House Of Love” is a six-minute whirlwind of Italo disco and acid house featuring an impossibly infectious saxophone riff.

Elsewhere, Cut Copy also pay homage to several of the scene’s other key players. There are shades of New Order with the low-slung bass of “In Memory Capsule,” the Hacienda-friendly floorfiller of “Footsteps,” and frontman Dan Whitford’s hazy listless tones, which recall Bernard Sumner throughout Free Your Mind’s fourteen tracks.

The penultimate number “Walking In The Sky,” a heart-warming blend of gospel, psychedelia and hippie-speak which adds a sense of gravitas to the band’s third summer of love intentions, channels the life-affirming vibes of Primal Scream’s Screamadelica.

It’s not quite clear what instigated Australia’s current interest in a sound whose heyday was both 25 years ago and thousands of miles away. But on the basis of Cut Copy’s vibrant and well-executed pastiche, long may it continue.

4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Electronic Music


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