Stop Disco Mafia: You Don't Wanna Know

Stop Disco Mafia's irreverently gloopy electro-pop is almost as ill-behaved as its debut disc's song titles (“Total Desaster” and “Shithead”) and the crude breast illustration gracing the front cover. Much of the album's slapstick material (e.g., “Washhour”) suggests Stop Disco Mafia (the ‘group' is actually the solo spawn of Ronald Gonko, bassist with mandolin orchestra Kapajkos, with Nora Below adding defiantly inelegant vocals throughout) should be filed alongside kindred provocateurs Mouse On Mars and DAT Politics. Rubbery melodies and rabid rhythms abound: Ole Wulfers' singing saws whimper like Theremins alongside bleepy beats in “Shithead,” the scuzz-ball “Crunchbone” whirrs and throbs like some crazed timepiece, and Below's voice sounds suitably deranged in “Mad Mind.” Surprisingly, occasional moments of sanity do arise, especially near the end of the 17-song collection: a snappy beat pattern drives the comparatively normal “Absent” with its marquee attractions a muted trumpet meander and Below's faux-soul vocalizing, plus the smeary drum & bass of “Another Stoneage” and jazzy dub-funk of “Missing Vegas” also strike relatively well-behaved poses.

September 2006