The Danse Society- Seduction (The Society Collection)

Danse Society- Seduction

I ordered ‘The Seduction’ album on the second day of New Year 2010. The order and delivery process of the CD from Amazon was very smooth. I got the CD within three or four days.

I discovered the music of Danse Society in 2008 although I had vaguely heard about the band a few years earlier. It was the live performances of their early 80s shows and some songs that were uploaded on You Tube that got me interested. There was a certain rawness and naivety combined with desire to be different in their overall music and image that I found appealing.

There are some really good songs on this collection. Danse Society’s forte is two players in the band- Paul Gilmartin, the drummer and Lyndon Scarfe, the keyboardist. The drumming is one of the most innovative and powerful ones that you will ever experience. Lyndon Scarfe’s keyboard work is very astute and excellent.

This collection is reflection of a band trying to find their sound and style. Some of the tracks in that process tend to be amateurish; some hit the right nerve such as ‘Hide’, ‘Belief’ and ‘Ambition’. A few tracks such as ‘Danse/Move’ and ‘Godsend’ are excellent mainly because of the powerful drum and bass rhythm mixed with some eastern sounding atmospheres. I think the band’s songs deal a lot with spirituality and a higher force- in both a spiritual and worldly sense (‘Continents’ is about the tensions between powerful nations at the time, The Arms Race, the Cold War, etc).

However, the highlights on this album are ‘Somewhere’ and ‘In Heaven (Everything is fine)’. I think ‘Somewhere’ is about understanding and discovering the contradictions of life. Tim Wright’s bass work is pretty much the highlight on this track along with memorable keyboard lines from Lyndon Scarfe. I can’t stop praising about what an astounding track ‘In Heaven’ is. It is music for the subconscious and it really takes you to a place that is fantastic and dreamy but somewhat eerie as well. It conjures up all sorts of images- the snow capped terrains and two lovers enjoying their time together. All this mixed with fantastic piano work from Lyndon Scarfe and the repetitive but effectively atmospheric guitar lines from Paul Nash, dazed out vocals from Steve Rawlings, almost single note keyboard work, simple bass lines and robotic but ambient drum sounds make this song a strong candidate for a suspense/ horror movie soundtrack. At least for this one track, I think it is worth owning the album. I say this because the track is that astounding. Any artist or a band that writes such a song deserves some level of respect.

‘Seduction (The Society Collection)’ is a very interesting collection especially for fans of early post-punk music which some would call Goth in hindsight. The music does appeal to the Goth sensibilities although the band themselves would deny that (note Lyndon Scarfe, the keyboard player’s remark in the liner notes of the album). It is worth buying for fans of Goth, Punk, Post-punk and Avant-garde Music. Also, this collection is introduced by Lyndon Scarfe. He did a great job of sharing the band’s experiences during their early days of touring, recording albums, the music culture and the world they were living in before the internet days.

Danse Society is not an extraordinary band of any sort but I think they were far more refreshing than most of the so called Goth/Punk bands of the time that just seemed to copy David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Jim Morrison’s vocal styles and the instrumentation of The Cure or Joy Division. Maybe those bands and artists had an influence on Danse Society’s music as well but their music is at least not so obvious to instantly make such comparisons. This collection is clearly of a band trying to find their special sound and style.

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