Personnel: Andy Ramsay (drums).
Audio Mixer: Modular.
Recording information: Los Estudios Microfilms, Buenos Aires.
On their third album, 2016's Fuga al Paraiso, Argentinian indie pop band Modular tweak their space-age pop sound and give it a glitterball-friendly update. While there's still plenty of time given to the sound they cultivated on their last two albums, a kind of shimmery pop best described as the High Llamas-in-space mixed with Stereolab with all the serious bits scrubbed off, this time they delve deeply into some very slick disco sounds. They may have happened onto a Love Boat marathon or bought an armload of the Disco Discharge reissues; either way, their love of cheesy, corny disco is apparent throughout the record.
Tracks like "Fiebre en la Disco" and "Cicciolina Amore Mio" sound like they could have been penned by the team of Dan Hartman and an Italian robot, their cover of Air's "Cosmic Bird" is a fairly brilliant hybrid of easy listening and disco, and "Fugitivos Cósmicos" ties up all their interests as it mashes up jangling banjos, retro future synths, and pumped-up Dance Fever beats. The band's proven attention to sonic detail serves them well on these tracks; so does their ability to craft lighter-than-feathered-hair hooks. The songs that don't venture onto strobe-heavy dancefloors work just as well. The group are as playful and inventive as ever, their synth sound-game is as tight as always, and Mariana Badaracco's vocals continue to enchant. It's not every day that a band can take such a huge left turn as Modular do here and make it sound like exactly the right choice. Consider them an indie pop outlier and Fuga al Paraiso proof that they know exactly what they're doing at all times. It's also another argument in the compelling case for their stature as one of the great overlooked indie pop bands of their era. ~ Tim Sendra