Swedish DJ and producer Martin Broden has been around. Having been inspired by classic house cuts such as Lil Louis' French Kiss via Depeche Mode, Yello and Kraftwerk both Broden's career trajectory and musical tastes appear to be somewhat eclectic. He played deep house as a DJ for years and previously ran the deep house label Deeplay. 2010 saw Broden change direction, focusing much more on disco and launching the label MB Disco. Bla Bla Bla feels like the culmination of a transition that began several years ago.
The focus here is on making modern disco that goes beyond simple re-edits and short loops to focus on fuller instrumental works. Borrowing from others is clearly allowed though, as Oh Yeah proudly announces with it's INXS sampling riff that kicks the album into a higher gear. It's a sassy, cheeky track that manages to do a lot with those light fingers, but it doesn't exactly deliver on Brodin's promise: it sounds exactly like one of those clever disco re-edits.
If there are doubts though Strings Attack does a lot to dispel them. Starting with the kind of percussion sequence Morgan Geist would be proud of - handclaps, bongos, drum kicks - Broden creates an exotic groove around a set of romantic strings and brass. It's a developed and authentically extravagant sound, but it's the gradual descent into electronic chaos in the track's final quarter that lifts the track beyond mere mimicry, though there's a hint of Yellow Magic Orchestra throughout.
A cover of Bryan Ferry's Don't Stop The Dance is just as enjoyable if a little less innovative, oiled guitar riffs jamming out liquid melodies against Broden's thick electronic bass loop and strings. Trapeze Disco gets a little seductive and sun drenched as a warm bass line and synths play against a loose, organic-feeling clattering drums and it's simple, effective and yet still very well done.
There are undeniable moments here where Bla Bla Bla feels like it may be a little short on ideas and at nearly 70-minutes long it could happily lose 3 songs and been a better album. It's not got the same gloriously short and consistent feel of Geist's Metro Area album, for existence, and it would be unfair to even compare them if it wasn't for such a clear similarity in inspiration, direct or not. Still, Bla Bla Bla is an assured album with some standout moments and it's easy to imagine this sounding fantastic this summer.
Bla Bla Bla is released through MB Disco on 29 March, available to pre-order on MP3 from Amazon.co.uk [affiliate link].