GusGus' move to Kompakt for their latest album release speaks volumes. This is an album that only continues the move away from the accessible pop-tech-house of Attention that we glimpsed on last album Forever.
And such a move represents a decision that BlackPlastic can't help but lament. In a typically Icelandic fashion 24/7 is a slightly unhinged minimal tech-house album.
BlackPlastic will precede what we are about to say with the assertion that 24/7 does contain moments of greatness - the soulful vocals of 'Hateful' and the contrast between it's angular, unemotional production and its lyrical content.
But everything is so damned spaced out, in both senses of the phrases. The vocals and minimal sound create a weird sense of isolation - the whole album feels delirious - and at the same time it feels like everything is built with such a focus on slow progression that the result is an album incapable of surprising the listener. Case in point - 'On The Job' with it's repeated shouts of "On the job, 24/7 never stop!" over it's 11-minute length... It's an acidic tripped out epic but it ultimately feels meaningless.
The synthesizers are, as always with GusGus, key here. Therefore you can understand why they have tried to strip everything else out - the likes of the evil sounding, acidic 'Take Me Baby' are far better than your average minimal output. The album is a paranoid, lonely one that conjures the feeling of the band's cold homeland in a way so far from the likes of Sigur Rós that it bears no comparison.
The problem is that GusGus also know how to write a good tune, yet on 24/7 it feels like all the actual tunes have been sacrificed - put out to pasture in favour of a concept that simply doesn't have the mileage to compare favorably to their earlier work.