Arriving at the tail end of the ’90s British dance boom, Simian Mobile Disco could have easily faded into obscurity along with many of their contemporaries. Over a pair of albums and a string of remixes, however, the duo have deftly paired brightly rendered big room beats with quirkier alternative flourishes, distilling club music’s myriad trends into more broadly accessible forms in the process. While their last long player, Temporary Pleasure, witnessed a host of collaborations and a move towards electronic pop territory, Unpatterns is much more of a straight ahead techno-house groove, delivered in assured and un-showy fashion.
In line with current trends in underground dance music, tracks like “Seraphim” and “I Waited for You” make clear their debt to classic house motifs, layering old school vocal samples amid fizzing contemporary production. Elsewhere, the focus is less retro, with the elegant synth arcs of “Cerulean” and the sinister alien funk of “A Species Out of Control” fizzing off into the future. Either way, Unpatterns is wholeheartedly a dancefloor album, seemingly purpose built for dark rooms, big lasers, and the pleasures of an endless four-four kick drum. It’s a laudable aim, and one they’ve resoundingly achieved.