Record of the Day #5 – Fuck Buttons, Tarot Sport

img_0063I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start listening to Fuck Buttons partly because I liked their name. It’s a good name. I remember picking Tarot Sport up on Amsterdam and the ensuing look on my mother’s face when she asked me who’d made it. Fuck Buttons. A bit of a taboo, a bit of fun, but a lot of good music. I’d heard the band a few months earlier courtesy of British publication RockSound, who’d included the radio edit of Surf Solar on one of their monthly free CDs. Those CDs were attached to the magazine with the intention of providing an audio introduction to some of the artists included.

Released: 2009        Label: ATP Recordings
Variant: Unknown              Purchased from: Distortion Records, NL

snapseed-6I remember my first listen to Surf Solar, quiet through a set of old headphones and dodgy CD player. I remember the ‘holy shit’ impression it left on me as the track progressed in a flurry of kaleidoscopic sounds. It was my first real taste of pure electronic music – no guitars, no vocals, just two guys and a whole lot of imagination. It floored me, in truth, so I was borderline ecstatic when I stumbled upon the full record in that Amsterdam record store. I didn’t unwrap it until I’d got home after the plane journey back to England, and spun it straight away. To hear those sounds I only knew on scratched CD pulsate from a brand new vinyl LP – incredible. I laid back on my bed, switched off, and lost myself for an hour behind the flurry of lights dancing on the insides of my eyelids. It was an immaculate experience, and it made Tarot Sport a record that has continued to resonate with me over the years.

snapseed-4Pressed across two heavyweight LPs, this is a record which is done full justice in its transition to vinyl. With the right set-up, it’s mesmeric, every track beautifully expansive. It progresses with heady momentum, each select song gathering speed, and layers  as they develop into epic electronic vistas, stratospheric synths and thick bass elevating everything to a higher plain. It’s a dizzying array of technicality and poise, perfectly crafted and fully engaging. It remains a record I can set needle to and happily sit back an enjoy. It offers a strong sense of catharsis, encouraging some sort of emotional release. At its frequent best it’s a euphoric listen, joyous and transcendent. When I’m stuck for something to play I can turn to Tarot Sport and tether myself to it for its duration. Its a record that tends to demand my full attention, and it always gets it. I feel that constant underscoring drone, the spine which holds the whole thing together, vibrating now as I write about Tarot Sport – almost demanding another listen. I’d happily oblige if I didn’t have things to do.

Simply put, Tarot Sport is a masterpiece of modern electronica, making Fuck Buttons so much more than a name to displease your parents.

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