Mojo (UK)

Hercules And Love Affair

Omnion MR INTERNATIO­NAL. CD/DL/LP

- Martin Aston

Dance music for head and heart, as well as feet. Andy Butler has always fused vintage dance modes with parallel post-punk-gothic influences from his youth. Hence his Anohnifron­ted debut single Blind and John Grant’s brooding confession I Try To Talk To You. While Omnion doesn’t stint on sleek, percolatin­g rhythms, HALA’s fourth album sounds shadowed by sobriety, in light of global and personal meltdown. Are You Still Certain? was inspired by 2015’s Paris and Beirut bombings; Butler grabs the mike himself for Fools Wear Crowns, referencin­g the drug-induced crisis that momentaril­y derailed the HALA train. Faris Badwan (The Horrors) and Sharon Van Etten front throbbing Controller and the doleful title track respective­ly; Lebanese singer Hamed Sinno trades verses on Are You Still Certain? with returning Butler sidekick Rouge Mary – who also projects diva ferocity on Rejoice. As ever, Butler weaves these disparate ups and downs without visible joins.

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