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Delphic are Rick Boardman, Matt Cocksedge and James Cook, young men from Manchester who combine guitar, bass and vocals with their laptops and drummer Dan Hadley. The four-piece straddle the indie and dance genres and count Chemical Brother Tom Rowlands as a fan. Includes the 2009 single "Counterpoint".
Having already been tipped for success by several end-of-year industry polls, big things are almost a given for Manchester’s Delphic.
When also considering the excellence of their two previous singles (Counterpoint and This Monetary) and their auspicious live reputation, Acolyte would have been a disappointment if it wasn’t, at the very least, a solid indie-dance album.
The quality of Delphic’s debut, then, is not a surprise. What is unusual is the clearly audible focus and intent. With the help of talented producer Ewan Pearson they’ve realised their own vision with clarity and force.
As a centrepiece, the title-track takes some beating. A glacial intro, as sad as a lover packing to leave for good, is followed by bruising Berlin techno, which the boys no doubt checked out while recording in the German capital. The song also has a driving trance feel, seemingly stolen from Sander Kleinenberg’s 2000 classic, My Lexicon.
Of the two early singles, inaugural release Counterpoint is two parts The Beloved’s Sweet Harmony to one part Bloc Party’s So Here We Are. A tender, if non-specific, vocal from James Cook suggests a broken relationship; but he’s on the way to pragmatic acceptance rather than whining.
This Momentary is even better and sees Matt Cocksedge contribute skeletal guitar motifs reminiscent of The xx and Cook vocally evoke Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor. There are lush harmonies and Underworld-style synth and beat combos, too. Fans of Melbourne’s Cut Copy will be appreciative.
New Order are the Mancunian rave-rock elephant in the room and Delphic have obviously studied copies of Technique and Brotherhood in detail. But when third single Doubt is as affecting as a post-Klaxons Regret, that’s no bad thing.
On an album of great consistency, Red Lights is another winner. An iridescent, dilated-pupil anthem-in-waiting, it should attract a raft of remixers from across the dance music spectrum.
There was some pressure on Delphic to deliver and they have. From a palette of familiar reference points, they’ve created a fresh, vital sound that could prove to be the basis of an impressive career. Barney and Hooky will exchange knowing glances when they hear it, but Acolyte might just be the first great album of 2010. --Lou Thomas
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Top Customer Reviews
Their debut album, `Acolyte', has been heralded as "the first great album of the decade" and has been compared to early New Order. I am as of yet unconvinced by both of these statements, but it is none the less a good offering. The whole album does run on an almost constant high from start to finish with glittering synths and crisp vocal harmonies. But if you peel off this glossy pop film there is actually something quite interesting underneath. They haven't just confined themselves to making radio friendly chart fillers that could have been oh so simple. Instead there is more focus on the actual music that drives the whole the beast. `Red Lights' and the title track are both prime examples of this where the clicking and bouncing rhythms take centre stage for much of the track and the vocals are used more as an instrument. Obviously there are also moments of pure pop with tracks like `Doubt' but because of the quality of the music underneath these also stand up to scrutiny.
Delphic then have produced an intriguing album with many very nice moments of both pop, and intelligent dance. It is well worth a listen as gems can be found within.
Get yourself a big PA system, flick on the lasers and lose yourself in the euphoria.
One listen and I was hooked. It's addictive stuff!
The ten compositions in this collection form a
coherently uplifting sonic experience.
Messrs Boardman, Cocksedge, Cook and Hadley have
concocted a strong musical identity which manages
to combine the best of what they have learned from
the past with their own uniquely imaginative hallmark.
A dense but sharply-focussed amagamation of sparkling,
luminescent synths, driving dance-friendly rhythms and
intelligently constructed vocal melodies and harmonies.
The marvellous 'Red Lights' positively glows with
incandescent energy. Rushing along like a boisterous
puppy on a lead, it can barely contain itself!
The spirit of Pet Shop Boys occasionally smiles from the wings.
Both 'This Momentary' and the beautiful 'Acolyte' owe a
not insignificant debt to Mr Tennant and Mr Lowe's legacy
but the influence in worn lightly and with obvious affection.
'Counterpoint' is arguably the project's highpoint.
Each time I have listened to it my heart beats faster!
The raucous enthusiasm generated by this music is truly uplifting.
Chiming guitar, wildly clattering percussion, a madly spiraling
synth ostinato and the ecstatic central vocal performance catapault
this momentous composition out into the spaces between the stars!
Coming in at less that two minutes the dreamlike 'Ephemera' is,
none-the-less, a haunting and affecting little miniature.
Final track 'Remain' delivers yet another big tune and
winds up this terrific debut album in very fine style.
'Acolyte' is a startling achievement by any standards.
Delphic are to be warmly congratulated for their labours!
Not only does this album sit well with me, I would certainly urge the masses to go and see these lads live. The first band I saw at Leeds festival 09 and certainly up there as one of the best. The passion and talent for music in their live gigs is without doubt portrayed within this album. Certainly an album to buy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this album, just as good today as it was when it was released.Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
In a musical world where electronic guitary music seems to merge one song/band into the next, it's refreshingly and genuinely different from anything of the last couple of years. Read morePublished on 1 May 2013 by James Hughes
not knowing anything about thisd group it was bought for a friend. Got here within a few days excellent value for money.Published on 21 Mar. 2013 by Mrs. Debbie Shaw
They take the music from kraftwerk and the
German electronic sound , that plant rock hip
Hop styled !
Great live experience I hear !
Band to manage ha!
i heard Delphic on Jools Holland so bought this cd its been on my ipod ever since its awesome buy it nowPublished on 1 Dec. 2010 by Mr. J. Clark
I thought it had to be said. One track is very close to that band's 'Belfast' I think. After two rather promosing singles, the Delphic album itself is good (and better than, say,... Read morePublished on 16 Aug. 2010 by Stan FREDO