The LA-based Glitch Mob is a DJ super group of club spinners, who have pooled their expertise and finally put out a debut album. Drink the Sea does not sound like what you would expect from club DJs; it is much more downbeat and atmospheric, almost space age–like.
The beats are great by themselves, if you’re into that sort of thing, but they sound spectacular with vocals, as evidenced on the only such track, “Between Two Such Points.” Swan, a west coast based singer/songwriter, is the vocalist and there is a Portishead style about her that perfectly accents The Glitch Mob’s cerebral sounds.
What is most noticeable about the album, if you pay close attention, is the build up and then let down of the musical momentum. This is not typical of club DJs- usually the beat is kept up to keep people moving. The Glitch Mob sounds much more like a Prefuse 73 or early RJD2, music for the head, rather than music for the body. This is exemplified by the track they remixed several years back (not on this record) for TV on the Radio, “Red Dress,” which perfectly extenuates TVOTR’s heady vocals with background beats.
On Drink the Sea, opener “Animus Vox” and “Bad Wings” are good examples of this, the latter being particularly atmospheric. There is no lack of dance anthems, either: see “How to be Eaten by a Woman,” and “Drive it Like You Stole It,” both with more bass emphasis. The bass is present in all of the tracks, but it often sounds like more of a murmur than a shout.
Out of context, the music, despite all the bounce and atmosphere, gets slightly repetitive. This is usually unavoidable with these sorts of albums. The addition of vocals does help, but it is notable that the vocals come mid-album. If you are interested in the music you will stick around to the end and come back for more.