COLLAPSING SCENERY: STRAIGHT WORLD PROBLEMS
“Straight World Problems” 12”
Collapsing Scenery—like Zappa’s quote about opening the theatre curtain to reveal the brick wall behind?—turn in six unsettled versions of this disco-not-disco song about how the new thing is too often just the same old thing, which is too often wasn’t even a good thing to begin with. There’s a little Talking Heads here and some Arthur Russell in the melodies, but there’s an idiosyncratic darkness and detachment, too—it’s purposefully off-key when it could easily be too smooth and deliberately distant when it could easily be too cloying. Musically, you can come from LCD Soundsystem but Scenery deploy deeper dissatisfaction when they ask why a true future is so late in arriving: “A new era is upon us, so why’s it feel just like the straight world?” As for remixes: Oliver dials up the pop aspects, Tom of England’s “Trouble With Dub” mix gets into a menacing Dennis Bovell space—recommended—and Chris Holmes and Certain Creatures turn in divergent but bracing celebrations of noise. The closing Henri mix is a motorik race to the horizon with a cinematic final minute—it ends so suddenly but what doesn’t?