Debut albums are meant to be introductory pieces for listeners to get to know artists and bands. Especially for musicians who self release their music, these debuts should not be expected to be polished. But for 23-year-old singer/songwriter Calvin Harris, the opposite is true. Self-producing his debut I Created Disco Calvin has managed to compose a well-made, yet still very raw, collection of catchy and danceable tunes related to a genre that I have never heard of till Calvin — electroclash.
Right from the start with “Merry Making At My Place” (video), you notice that the most important aspects of the Calvin’s music are the beats and the rhythms because, in electronica especially, they set a firm foundation and allow for a limitless exploration of accompanying lyrics and sounds.
Calvin experiments with a variety of beats and the result is that no two songs sound alike. They all differ in a way that you’d think this was a compilation of many different artists. The title track has an interesting European feel in the vein of Depeche Mode meets Kraftwerk, while the laser blaster sounds of “Neon Rocks” takes you back to the original Nintendo games of 8-bit yesteryear. He even steps it up a notch with his very soulful, porno-sounding “Loves Souvenir” that keeps you guessing as to when Isaac Hayes will smooth talk a few words.
There’s an odd simplicity to Calvin’s music, despite the obvious complexity to his mixing of the many vocal and sound tracks. His anthem-like “This Is The Industry” is surprisingly appealing despite just having a fairly basic framing electronic beat with the repeating “this is the industry” chant. He is even bold enough to forgo lyrics altogether with the vocal-less, Ratatat-esque “Certified.”
The highlight of I Created Disco is his infectious ode to females everywhere in “The Girls.” He uses an array of singing techniques to convey that he “likes them tall girls” and those girls “carrying a little bitty weight” periodically dotted in-between a chorus that you can’t help but wave your arms up and down through the air to. Although to be fair, you can do that with pretty much the entire album.
Listen to “Acceptable In The 80’s”.