Review: Caribou – Our Love
October 29th, 2014 by Alex Fili
Dan Snaith operates in subtleties. And he does it better than everyone else.
Arriving on the electronic scene in the late 90s, the Canadian-born composer turned the so-called IDM (intelligent dance music) movement on its head. This is his game—take what exists, tear it up, make it better. Snaith is permanently evolving and reinventing himself. While guised under the various stage names of Manitoba, Daphni and Caribou he has done everything from shoegaze to krautrock and back again. No matter the name, the project is the always the same for Snaith: to produce fully developed, deconstructed soundscapes to dance to.
Interestingly, Snaith himself holds a PhD from Imperial College London for his work on Overconvergent Siegel Modular Symbols. In case you weren’t aware (I had literally no idea what this meant), Siegal modular forms are a type of automorphic form, having relation to periodic functions in Euclidean Space. Abstract mathematical models, meets electronic music, and here we are. Our Love is especially representative of Snaith’s ability to combine theory and theatrics, organically.
A master mixer and veteran DJ, Dan Snaith highlights his musical shifts with precision. They are alive in every sense, emerging from the inside out. Tracks like “Can’t Live Without You” and “Our Love” are dynamically diverse—with a sustained intensity and punctuated pulsation that render each track uniquely infectious.
Behold: This is body music with a brain.
Ultimately, Our Love departs from a typical dance album. It is catchy but its textures are gnarled— often strange and unpredictable—like running your hand over the knots of a tree. There are dozens of wise surprises in the soundscapes Snaith creates throughout Our Love.
In all of its looming, pulsing, rupture and repose, Our Love is true to its name. It is no secret: this is an album about love in the 21st century. The lingering aches of heartbreaks bye-gone, damages done and undone, and the love that lasts and the love that disappears–it’s all here. Give a listen.
Can’t Do Without You
Second Chance (ft. Jessy Lanza)