When Ian Curtis took that final spin on the ceiling fan in May 1980, he momentarily took with him the stern gray guitar rock that was dominating Manchester. In its place came stern gray electropop, bands like Minny Pops and Quando Quango, who essentially copied JD's M.O., but used synths in place of riffs. The beats were rigid and the music was frigid, and no one was dancing to it since Ecstasy hadn't been invented yet. Colder is like that, perfecting club tracks that are sleek and clean and emotionally unavailable. The songs themselves are kept spare -- just a clatter of percussion, the bleak pulse of the bass, and Marc Tan's flat, detached vocals. Songs like "Your Face" twinkle and fade like dying stars, pinpricks of keyboard darting up and vanishing while Tan moans hopelessly from the shadows. Heat is bleakness built with wires; it's as ornate, eerie and imposing as a mausoleum.


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