The world of electronic music is known for secrecy. Producers adopt numerous pseudonyms for their varied output, artists guard their methods of music-making under lock and key, and posing as something you're not is the norm — not the exception. Hell, most people believed that Richard D. James drove a tank around London in the mid ’90s. (Oh, wait.) Maybe that's why it's so hard to believe that Black Devil Disco Club could simply be what it seems to be: an offshoot of legendary electro-disco duo Black Devil, 28 years after they made their solitary, cult-favorite record (titled, somewhat confusingly, Disco Club).
But, in the face of all available evidence, it makes sense: These songs do sound as though they were made in time capsule — by someone who hasn't bothered to engage with dance music since he (ostensibly) gave it up in the late ’70s: former Black Devil member Bernard Fevre. Few current producers would dream of upsetting “I Regret the Flower Power” with a sitar solo or singing nonsense syllables over the Moroderized groove. In fact, slightly off-kilter vocal moments are legion here: Fevre goes underwater on “The Devil in Us,” doubles his voice on “Coach Me” to sound like Alan Vega in a duet with Antony and tries his hand at divadom on closer, “On Other Skin.”
The music is similarly strange, if grounded in the sort of Italo-disco made famous by mavens of cheese like Charlie and Ken Laszlo and currently practiced/feted by Legowelt and the Environ label. But the (black) devil is in the details: listen closely to each track and you'll hear more going on than your average sterile computer production. This is hand-crafted disco at its finest. But can we really be sure whose hand made it?