Left Ear Records & Mixed Signals / Australia / RE 2023
Mixed Signals and Left Ear Records team up again to refresh Litia~Loe’s mid-90s album Life Love Dance. On this timeless release, the group channel the golden age of Nu Groove, foundational Warp releases, and the Ibiza days of New Order, all rooted in a uniquely Chicago sound.
Five years after their EBM-tinged cerebral house anthem “Each Dawn Every Dawn”, the Litia~Loe (Life In The Insane Asylum = Life On Earth) crew dropped a lush album of wider proportion — six songs that feel more mature, more confident. Yet, despite this cultivated style, they continue to maintain the distinctive jest of their first outing. Grant, Leon, and Simeon’s new approach was more exploratory, traversing adventurous channels of pop, wave, IDM, and house. Not only are the songs more varied, but the growth of the trio’s technical skills are apparent. These songs feel more considered, like they have been refined over time, given just the right amount of polish without losing the ecstatic rawness that gives them breath and bounce.
“The Rush” follows the crooked path that was featured in their first single, with a vocal performance that maintains a murky half-singing-half-spoken-word opacity; the optimistic lyrics juxtaposed with sinister synthetic strings. “Whisper To Me” demonstrates a new side to the group which shows their ability to break from an orthodox house sound and highlights their pop sensibilities with a narcotic Depeche Mode-ish bassline. “Peep Show” reveals a mellower mode, drenched in euphoric echo and sensuous synth pads. Also featured on this reissue is an unreleased CD instrumental “First World” having its first ever vinyl release.
Life Love Dance captures the sound of primetime Chicago melodic house music, but offers something more expansive. Uninhibited by the borders of genre, the trio took a more inclusive approach to their music, which catalysed in a playful and peerless production style which makes their work stand out from the droves of generic dance records from that era.