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Over the course of their first three albums, Hot Chip has garnered a deserved reputation as one of the most idiosyncratic and engaging acts in the contemporary electronic music scene. Their songs are frequently spastic and confounding, yet the core of their compositions is always unwaveringly poppy in its genealogy. This thumping heart is sometimes easy to overlook amid the misdirections on the fringes of the band’s songs; cheap and obsolete instruments, unlikely vocal harmonies, and deviant song structures are among the red herrings the band frequently deploys to distract listeners from the fact that Hot Chip’s music is made for dancing. It is no wonder, then, that the finest moments in the group’s catalog (“Ready for the Floor,” “Over and Over,” “Boy from School”) are those where they most deftly dicker a symbiosis between their electro-pop beats and their heady, academic dalliances.
On February 9th, 2010, the band will treat fans to their fourth LP, a two-disc affair entitled One Life Stand on which “Take It In” will appear. True to form, the song gracefully negotiates the high-wire act between dance music oomph and musical smarts. “Take It In” is the kind of song Four Tet might record if Kieran Hebden ditched a little bit of pretension in favor of more visceral rewards. About twenty seconds in, a keyboard cranks out a phrase on what must be the “broken glass” or “rusty razorblade” preset. It is a lovely foil to the monotone vocals during the verse, but an even more remarkable one to the light, gliding chorus which follows. Some synthesized specters haunt the background of the second verse, a nice bit of foreshadowing to the piano melodies which line the song’s resolution. With its mirrored structure, nice build up, intelligent embellishments, and dirty groove, “Take It In” serves up everything you could ask for in a Hot Chip track. So far, 2010 sounds pretty cool.