Crystal Fighters, in their own words, make “fast dance music with Basque instruments, synthesizers and [their] voices.” A London based five-piece from Navarra, Spain with a fascinating back-story involving an unfinished opera and the diary of a deceased grandparent.
On Star of Love (Kitzuné 2010), the group’s début, there is a distinctive Spanish presence with obvious influences towards Balearic House and indie folk-rock. Crystal Fighters seamlessly blend guitar led folk rhythms with pulsating tribal dance music and an eclectic mix of both male and female vocals.
Opening track ‘Solar System’ is a thumping blend of deep wobbling bass and electronica with a soft acoustic interlude. ‘I Do This Everyday’ combines filthy percussive beats with stabbing distorted guitars. ‘Plage’ is a nice indie pop song with a soothing finger picked guitar intro that is reminiscent of really old Spiderbait, whilst ‘Swallow’ is a grimy dub step number that you would expect to hear in the early hours of the morning in a seedy underground UK nightclub.
Personally, my favourite track is ‘I Love London’. With its catchy vocal slur and head bopping indie-pop beat it is definitely the stand out track and has gained heavy blog attention and has had some astounding remixes produced in the meantime (See 80kidz and Paparazzi).
Star of Love is tough to define under any one genre and this should be true of any band aspiring to be noticed. It shows you can be diverse and doesn’t pigeon-hole you. You’re allowed freedom to experiment right from the start and from there it’s almost impossible to disappoint fans when you decide to take your music in a different direction.
Though each track here seems to fluently move between electronic and folk to rave and dub step, the end product is an album lost by what it is trying to accomplish and at times I would find myself unsure that I was even listening to the same record. Star of Love could have been an electronic classic in years to come but it’s far too schizophrenic and inconsistent to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, I cannot doubt that the album has personality. And it is personality that makes a great record. However, not every quality can be great and multiple personas will create conflict and contradiction. The deeper you dig and the more layers you peel, the more the album begins to sting
Crystal Fighters – Follow (DiskJokke Remix) (192)
Crystal Fighters – I Love London (80kidz Remix) (192)