Duran Duran Duran Duran Duran DuranOver Hard
Clearly, Ed Flis really loves penises. He likes them flaccid and microscopic, still rolled up in their skin and with the pink foreskin sticking out like a little prune, and he likes them erect and violent, a geyser of swollen flesh with their veins about to burst. You can tell that they really turn Ed Flis on because he always puts them on his record covers: for “Very Pleasure” (2005) there were two naked men skipping around a green field, and in “Over Hard” there is a muscled, blonde boy-toy between the sheets posing like a model from the magazine “ Inches,” with a dick harder than a stick in his underpants. There’s no need to probe his sexual orientation, which is not essential knowledge to appreicate Duran Duran Duran’s music: the gay part stays on the covers, and the nasty part, which is what this is really all about, is in everything else. Its in the virulent explosions of his creations, the atrocious breakcore earthquakes, gabber gone wild and electro that’s been put out of joint worse than a jaw beaten by Mike Tyson’s fists. The bad vibe rules, and this bad boy from Philadelphia now resident in Berlin has decided that there should be bad vibes from beginning to end.
The man behind Duran Duran Duran already had a twisted mind, at least by the time of “Very Pleasure,” and what can you say about his stage name, besides the best of all time, and impossible to beat. In a wicked press release it was declared, without any possibility of verification, that there was another person in the group, but that this other member was rotting in a federal jail, having been found guilty of murder. A typical bad joke from someone who wipes his ass with political correctness and then throws it away in the nearest rubbish bin, and typical of the kind of artist that excites the head of the Cock Rock Disco label, the lovable Jason Forrest, who digs the outrageous like an idiot does a pencil. “Over Hard” is what a potential Duran Duran Duran fan (and there are some out there, as strange as it may seem) has been waiting for: an unaffected harangue and an improvement on the previous album, although it doesn’t start off as devastatingly as the last one with a sample of Yazoo’s “Don’t Go” undergoing pulverisation from a punching breakbeat.
Conceptually, Duran Duran Duran is an artist who belongs to a period of several years ago, to the first half of the previous decade, when those laptop terrorists like kid606, the Canadian Knifehandchop and Hellfish & Producer, champions of technically refined gabber, still seemed provocative. Because there was a time not that long ago when rave gone wild, irreverent and sure to give you a bad stomach-ache, was made with IDM edging. A clean sound - good plug-ins that guaranteed clarity, precision, an arty touch - that contrasted brutally with the artists’ barbarous, asocial intentions. And “Over Hard” does have a meticulous finish to its production, a conscientious polish, even though it hits you like being kicked by a mule right in the occipital. To throw you off it starts out slow, with an intro in an old man’s voice; on “Drop That E,” the first breakbeats start to play, along with energetic electro, with endless references to drugs and partying without no time to go home by. Excessive, and on the edge of bad taste, “Bass Racist” is a gabba exercise at low speed, with echoes of African and Pakistani music. It all moves from less to more, and every song is an assault without any middle ground: either you throw up your breakfast, or you climb up on the table to dance and to get it all off your chest with the hard electro of “Booty Jihad,” the sort of unhinged tribute to Aphex Twin of “Prime Cut” or the turbulent acid of “Brainwash.” The final stretch, deranged, amphetamine-soaked, and based on breakcore and gabba, starts off with “Furious George,” continues with the sample of Flavor Flav in “Basement Tape,” and ends in the purest Knifehandchop style in “Bomb The Base.” To top it all off, a remix of “Year Of The Monkey” by Xanopticon is sure to cause cancer. There was a time when being rude and breaking glass were not only fun, they were art. “Over Hard” opens a door to that nostalgia, and I, for one, walk right in. You can follow me if you want to, but only under your own guidance, of course, and according to your own desires. Javier Blánquez