Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

History in the Making: The Debut from Hercules and Love Affair Recalls the Golden Age of '80S Dance Music While Still Marching to the Beat of a Fresh and Original Drummer

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

History in the Making: The Debut from Hercules and Love Affair Recalls the Golden Age of '80S Dance Music While Still Marching to the Beat of a Fresh and Original Drummer

Article excerpt

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HERCULES AND LOVE AFFAIR

Hercules and Love Affair

MUTE/DFA

INSPIRED BY A HUMPY, bronzed he-man and his string of young male lovers, Hercules and Love Affair's eponymous debut CD is hedonistic, ecstatic, and gay as all get-out. Hands down, it's the best dance record of the summer, if not the whole year. And yet you probably won't hear it at circuit parties; these 10 originals opt to tease the libido and tickle the brain rather than pummel revelers into submission with relentless kick drum and diva wails.

H&LA initially sprang forth from the union of two New York City aesthetes, DJ-producer Andrew Butler and the androgynous Mercury Prize-winning singer Antony (as in Antony and the Johnsons). The two composed the album's centerpiece, "Blind," almost four years ago, but its vintage could just as easily be 1978, such is its kinship to the Sylvester classic "Dance (Disco Heat)." Over a straightforward, relentless bass riff supplied by Tyler Pope (of the punk-funk ensemble !!!), hissing hi-hat, and clarion trumpet, Antony keens and swoons.

While its lyrical subject matter is loosely based on ancient Greek mythology--specifically the titular demigod and his best-loved companion, the charioteer Iolaus--the album conjures a more recent bygone era, the 1980s, and not in an icky shoulder-pads-and-sweater-dresses way either. …

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