various artists – after dark 4

Did you also watch ‘Drive’ aged 12, then brooded and pouted, seeking out toothpicks and scorpion jackets for a month after? Released by the label responsible for Chromatics’ ‘Tick of the Clock’, After Dark 4 revisits that same adolescent posturing with decisive colour. Like The Weeknd’s first mixtape, it conjures an elite, narcotic atmosphere; like his later work, it is obsessed with the 80s without succumbing to monochromatic nostalgia. The lavishness aims for a high-class, euro-disco experience, while placed in Roy Lichtenstein-esque, kitsch, melancholia. Much is distilled to pure aesthetic, but there’s a self-aware beauty throughout. So…do they still sell those jackets?

24/30

A favourite: ‘Call A Psychic’ by Orion

‘After Dark 4’ is out now via Italians Do It Better. 

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