Music News

Delphic: Acolyte, in "Nothing Not New"

Welcome to "Nothing Not New," a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

Artist: Delphic
Title: Acolyte
Release date: January 19, 2010
Label: Polydor UK

Mama told me there would be days like this: Days when I have to go way out of my comfort zone to listen to something like Delphic, an electronic dance band that just released its debut record. My friend Ben actually suggested I listen to this -- he's a big electronic music fan and a DJ as well. I was a little wary, but I figured I throw him a bone, because usually I find this kind of music about as interesting as the late-night TV talk show wars.

But I'm somewhat pleased to report that the synth-heavy Acolyte is somewhat listenable to these aging ears. On my first listen, it was simply just dance music to me. I don't have anything against dance music -- it's great for dancing. But I just can't imagine me or anyone else sitting on the couch listening to something like Acolyte for the sake of pure listening pleasure. Cleaning the house, doing a mindless task at work, getting drunk and dancing at the Rogue? Yes.

On my first listen, I was sure I'd never make it through this record, and part of that is due to the interminable opening title track, which clocks in at 8 minutes and 50 seconds. But upon further inspection, there are some actual songs here. You know, melody and verse-chorus-verse stuff. One of them, "Clarion Call," is even presented in an economical, three-minute format.

Apparently, these guys are from Manchester, England, which of course has a long tradition of popular dance-music bands. And some of the more tuneful songs on Acolyte certainly bear resemblance to those created way back when by Manchester's biggest musical export, New Order. 

Still, I have to wonder what makes a band like Delphic appealing to its fans and fans of the genre, in general. If you're a fan, help me figure it out in the comment section below.

Best track: "Clarion Call" (there's actually a guitar solo on it)
Rotation: Medium. It's good background music.
Deja Vu: Dublin at night.
I'd rather listen to: New Order's Power, Corruption, & Lies
Grade: C+

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Jay Bennett
Contact: Jay Bennett