J&L Defer–‘Mo Map’ (Out 2/9/2016 via Exploding in Sound Records)

J&L Defer–‘Mo Map’ (Out 2/9/2016 via Exploding in Sound Records)

Anita Rufer and Gabriele De Mario, the core duo of Switzerland’s Disco Doom, are unimpressed by the ubiquitous obligation to always look for the new to yet only find the old again. Free from the zeitgeist, the duo work at their own pace as J&L Defer, an experimental pop project independent of all style guidelines and expectations. Which is fine by me, just think alternative and you should be able to find where you’re looking for from there.]

The band’s desire to create music that expands beyond genre borders and limitations, something that the likes of Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits to Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention have all previously been cited for, but there is nothing lanquid or even woolly about their sound. The duo recorded their ten track debut over the last two years (between tours, shows and production work) at their own studio M.I.R. Tape Rec. Unit in Zurich, Switzerland described as a perfect starting point for a new adventure.

‘No Maps’ is centered around the idea of « nowhere, to no one,” Rufer and De Mario have created a record without concern for the outside world. Opener ‘The opening track is indeed a little off kilter but enjoyable all the same, ‘Transition’ makes for an a solid guitar-backed opening to the album before a looser ‘Hard Fiction Road’ as a math-like computered hi-hat ticks the rhythm, dislocated guitar and keys underpin a softer vocal delivery. Only two tracks in and I’m blaming the album title for my subliminal need for directions, luckily just press on track 3, ‘Vibrant’ continues a lighter electro feel with vocalisation later skewed, the darker ‘Horror’ and the elongated music passage of ‘Beach Dark ‘ also continue to be cuts from the same wide creative pallet.

‘Nowhere’ resonates reminder of indie fare of another time to fractured guitar of  ‘Ian‘s Room’ there is more to uphold here than the imagined average. For a subtle at times more chord heavy electronica  and a damn sight better for it. Must be something in the speciality teas out there in Zurich, or I like music with guitars, but J&L Defer have done well, ‘No Maps’  works personally in spades, fingers crossed should make many playlists, it’s not everyday you hear a mix of beats with alienated guitars – that work. 7.7/10

Steve Janes

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J&L Defer–‘Mo Map’ (Out 2/9/2016 via Exploding in Sound Records)