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Polydistortion
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2000
It's worth getting this hidden gem just for Track 7 'Why?' which is worthy of Massive Attack at their heavenly best. Turn the lights down and turn the volume up and float away on the music. Fantastic stuff.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2008
I heard of Gus Gus for their track 'Anthem' on the PI soundtrack. With stuff this obscure, it could have been a thourough dissapointing affair:
I've gotta say I wasn't overly enamoured with this album when I got it but it has just got better and betterthe more times its spun in my CD player. Like the dear fellow in the review above alot of the album has 'massive attack' or 'portishead' feel about it though I think its fair to say with a hefty dose of euphoric trance elemements. In particular track 2, Gun and and track 10, Purple. This perhaps gives the album a morecheeba or moloko kind of feel as does the vocal work (at the very least a very British trip hop pop feel). However the percussion remains for me understated and does not suffer from a studio perfection leading to a kind of bland sound across all tracks. You can tell that some sort of analogue effects have been applied to beats, like tremelo and distortion in as it were real time and the whole feel and unity of the music really benefits from it. For fans of a darker more atmouspheric feel there's some of that here on the humourously titled track 'Is Jesus your pal?' which really has both a chilling and charming feel all of its own. Other Highlight tracks include for me the deeply funky rhythums of 'Barry' and 'Polybackwards' a outro soundscape that really works well on what is an refreshingly idiosyncratic take on the the sort of postmodern trip hop pop. I'd recommend buying this album anyway but if your a fan of Massive Attack, Moreecheeba, Portishead and what not and are looking for something obscure to impress always music hungry mates with... definately buy this album because you won't regret it. Some of these tracks would do nicely in a club aswell for any DJs out there looking to bulk out your sets with something cool.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Gusgus' first (slightly retooled) album is their best by a country mile.

The first full length masterpiece on this album is Gun, and what an opener, with growling drum loops put through distortion and Daniel Agust's pitch perfect delivery (hard to believe he represented Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest!). The song follows a traditional Gusgus structure with vocals frontloaded and then a backend reserved for experimentation with the distortion box and parts fading in and out. This sublime starter is followed by Believe which has become a mainstay of the Gusgus live set, and with good reason. Then, one of the highlights of the album, Polyesterday - a great pun, more remarkable because of the fact that these guys' second language is English.

I could go on and talk about every track with admiration as I have these opening three. However, I will reserve my praise for the penultimate full track, Purple, which is something which Biggi Veira and Magnus Gudmunsson did before they were part of Gusgus - a great track sure to fill the floor at any disco, even 14 or 15 years after it was made - timeless. Try and get the 2 CD version with the remixes. There you get some cracking remixes of Believe, the Sasha vs the Light version of Purple (which is a great remix) and the Polydistortion instrumental, which is Polyesterday with no vocals and more emphasis on the drums with heavy distortion.
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on 14 January 2011
Not a mainstream band Gus Gus are truely electronica geniuses! Is Jesus Your Pal - my favourite haunting tune and Gun when I'm in the moood for a bit of focus. It's not just fast tempo, there's a few slower tunes. One of my favourite albums.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 4 October 2002
One of the best alternative albums I've ever heard. Combing electronics with strange lyrics and wonderful melodies, this Icelandic group have really hit the mark with this one.
From the opener 'Gun' this album is top track after top track. It's one of those strange and rare albums where this is no poor track. 'Believe' and 'Polyesterday' are the main highlights of the album. There is also a great use of male vocals on some tracks and female vocals on others.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2011
GusGus - Polydistortion (4ad)
When the nine members of GusGus got together to make an art-house movie it seemed that their multitude of talents could also be guided in other directions. GusGus was the result and their debut "Polydistortion" is a sophisticated, though slightly sinister slice of post-Bristol trip-hop.

Hailing from Reykjavik, probably Europe's coolest pop capital city (in more ways than one), they have a lot to live up to and they just about carry it off. "Polydistortion" has some fine moments, the epic "Cold Breath `79" and gorgeous "Why" are prime examples, though there's a nagging feeling that this is merely a rehearsal for greater things to come.

Fans of the Bristol sound will inevitably lap this up like nectar from a Norse god, and perhaps we have the beginnings here of the definitive sound of young Iceland.
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