Even before the release of his first album David E. Sugar was a bit of a fame-hag; with his single ‘Oi New York, This is London’ featured on the temple of electro-cool Kitsune Maison as well as on Joe ‘Hot Chip’ Goddard’s Greco-Roman label. The latest trophy on his metaphorical mantelpiece is a partnership with Radio 1 DJ and Bestival organiser Rob da Bank. Sugar is the latest aquisition to Rob’s label Sunday Best, that also houses Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and Sportsday Megaphone.
Sugar was famous in his own right for his invention of ‘Chiptune’; using samples from a Nintendo Game Boy and other computer games to create glitchy songs with a fresh, playful feel. Though ‘Memory Store’ will disappoint Chiptune fans, Sugar has opted for a sleeker, arguably more mature sound that could potentially break through to a new audience, beyond electro fans.
The album is an openly up-beat dance record comprising of funky percussions fronted by Sugar’s own down-to-earth vocals, and backed with melodic guitar riffs and occasional dashes of sparkle. The themes he touches upon are the universal disco favourites; post-hedonistic musings and the hassles of romance, but ambiguous enough for the audience to supply their own interpretations or draw upon their own experiences.
The highlight is ‘Cambridge Sums’, a catchy number with a strong hook (lyrically and musically) that encourages dancefloor-anticipatory swaying. ‘Party Killer’ is similarly hummable, its repetitive melody both celebrating and denouncing the glamorous and destructive elements of hard partying. Throughout the album the combination of bassline ingenuity and conversational vocals mean the tracks share an evocative, infectious solidarity. They are accessible bites of uncomplicated electro-pop a la LCD Soundsystem or early Calvin Harris in which it is effortlessly easy to immerse oneself and give in to the rhythms.
No, it won’t please left-field fans, or those who like their music to move through complex peaks and troughs of intensity and passion. In human form the album would be the solid, likeable guy in your friendship group who shops in Topman and sticks to the old step-and-clap on the dancefloor; it’s a tightly produced, unpretentious, enjoyable record.