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Album Review

Games, 'That We Can Play'

November 15, 2010

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While other upstart electronic acts pick the AM-dial soft-rock and synth-pop archives bare for inspiration, Brooklyn duo Games (Wayland natives Daniel Lopatin and Joel Ford) don’t play that. The seven tracks that comprise this debut EP display a fondness for a sound that’s unrelentingly retro, but intriguingly interstitial. “That We Can Play’’ is not a pillaging of pop’s coke phase so much as an homage to the forgotten sonic scenery of cooler times: think sexy cologne ads, Jane Fonda workouts, VHS employee training tapes. But the real pleasure of these songs is how their subconscious smoothness is smuggled into what sounds like a familiar future. Any fan of M83’s dense drones can get lost in the pulsating haze of “Everything Is Working,’’ while devotees of Ratatat will thrill to the analog sunsets of “Midi Drift.’’ “Shadows in Bloom’’ reworks an old Secret Service jam into a slamming, mid-tempo lounge bomb. The dusty handclaps, cheesy orchestra hits, and baying keyboards of “Planet Party’’ may come from the same closet as your old acid-washed jeans, but don’t mistake Games for some out-of-date outfit; this is what’s next — all over again. (Out now) MICHAEL BRODEUR

ESSENTIAL “Planet Party’’

GAMES THAT WE CAN PLAY

HIPPOS IN TANKS