Le Thug – Ripping

lethug While we’re on the subject of bands we’ve worked with on Song, by Toad Records, it seems that Le Thug have a new EP out this week, which is great news.

Le Thug’s songs tend to be washes of noise, underpinned by electronic beats, which the music tends to depend on for its pace. This pace can be as urgent or as meandering as Danny wants it to be and it is this, along with the treatment of the vocals, which really tends to lift out the songs from the miasma of hums and buzzes which dominate the overall textures.

When we recorded the last Song, by Toad Split 12″ with them there was some back and forth about the vocals, actually, and that seems to continue here. The band like the vocals, even the female ones, to be swathed in reverb and delay, and buried deep within the mix. My take on it was at the time, and remains today, that in Cleo they have on the most exceptional singers I’ve heard in a long time, and that her voice really needs to be more prominent.

I also think that when you have such textural, foggy music you generally need something, somewhere to cut through it from time to time, and that’s how I tried to use the vocals on the Split 12″, so it’s interesting to hear them as the band themselves would have preferred them to be mixed. It’s and odd sensation though, and makes me feel just a little like the big, bad label person imposing his will, which I tend to try and avoid if I can.

Anyhow, minor mixing debates aside, this is the same splendid LeThug we already know and love: dreamy and hypnotic. Of Europe (Arc 1993) is perhaps the best example of why I love these guys. Cleo’s vocals are as clear as they get on this, and the underlying guitar loop is choppy and shuddering, making for a song which perfectly encapsulates the combination of introspection and euphoria which the best fuzzy shoegaze can give you.

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