C2C - Tetra
Record Label: Casablanca Records
Release Date: Jan. 29, 2013 (digitally)
The French outfit C2C showed glimpses of brilliance on last winter's Down the Road EP and while their full-length Tetra revisits that brilliance, it falls short for one simple reason: the album is exhaustively long. In a music society that thrives on digital downloads and 99-cent singles, it is both frustrating and puzzling to see a band release a disc that fourteen song and nearly sixty five minutes. Who has that much time? Not only that, how certain is it all sixty-five of those minutes will be well-spent? In the case of Tetra, only forty of those sixty five minutes are worth the time. This is maddening because C2C are a towering and first-rate EDM band who have a sense of vision, ingenue and artistry that is unlike few of their peers. Unfortunately on Tetra, that vision gets bogged down by far too much filler.
But when they're good, oh man, they are a treasure.
For an elucidation of that statement, check out the urban cut "King's Season," featuring crystalline vocals from dazzling chanteuse Rita J. Rita who? No worries, this song is her introduction to the world stage and man does she deliver. From start to finish, there's a sense of slickness, swerve and panache that is both staggering and awe-inspiring. In short, this was the crossover song that was sorely lacking on Down the Road. But Tetra has more than just one crossover song. In fact it has a handful. Whether its the hip-hop-flavored "Because Of You" (featuring Pigeon John), which screams of radio success, the vocoder-driven "Delta," or the titanic "Who Are You," there's something deeply potent happening with the C2C clan.
And yet for all their turns at commercial success, the EDM quartet is more than willing to cut loose and get freaky and nowhere is that more apparent than on "Happy." Ostensibly an exercise in frenetic psychedelia, the song has turns where it sounds like Gnarls Barkley and others where it is a mishmash of everything but the kitchen sink. Similarly, the vocally-driven "Genius," has a zest that hearkens back to Kool and the Gang, while "Arcades," pushes the boundaries on what scratching can do. And therein lies the power of C2C. Even when they stumble ("Give Up The Ghost," "Le Banquet,") they still know how to make music that is infectious, inventive and deeply engaging. In the end, Tetra will win over fans without a doubt. Having already gone platinum in France, Tetra has a chance to make a splash here in the States. After all, this is seductive, sensual and utterly captivating stuff. Turntablism has never sounded this good.