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Dance Music

Album artwork for Dance Music by Mastersystem

Let me quickly assert that this is certainly not dance music. I can only assume it was a joke; maybe a working title that never got replaced. So what does it sound like? First of all, you should know Mastersystem is a dreaded “super-group”. The Hutchison brothers from Frightened Rabbit make up the first half while the Lockey brothers from Editors and Minor Victories make up the second half. Together they make heavy music that sounds like a mixture between Nirvana and Frightened Rabbit.

Do you wonder why the bird is bored of flying Still, it sings—Shoot it down—And pull the wings out—I am waiting
Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit performs onstage. Photo by Ben Morse.
Scott Hutchison. Photo by Ben Morse

If you're going to give it a listen you should reserve judgement and persist a little because the album is totally back-loaded.

The first five tracks are a perfect wave of noise. The last four tracks are not only musically more interesting; they reveal a final journey—from the desperation of middle-aged “Old Team”, Scott’s favourite track on the album, to the existential “Bird is Bored of Flying”—surely a transcription of his mental state. In a troubled unfolding of events, Scott Hutchison, the lead singer, died by suicide a few months after the album came out.

Technicolour Dancing Flames

Mastersystem released their final video for Old Team which you can watch here. It comes across as a sort of epitaph, film footage of the band enjoying themselves on tour. The video is just as powerful as anything on Midnight Organ Fight. Dance Music finally re-captures that genie-in-a-bottle feeling of Frightened Rabbit's magnum opus through a different form.

Indie In Utero on speed. Tragically this is the last thing Scott Hutchison made before leaving us, and for me, the most significant album of 2018.