Dynamic production duo Dibidim (finally) resurface on Oslo’s Snorkel Records, with a sophomore set, Superheaven, that both ambitious and accomplished. It’s been nearly 20 years since their debut, but in that time they’ve certainly honed their studio skills. While the label, and its extended family of artists, might be associated with slightly eccentric, left-of-centre, dance-floor gear – smashes such as Mopedbart and Sun City – the 10 tracks here add up to much, much more than that.
Proceedings may begin with the chunky, chugging, pumping, party-starting pulse of the phased and filtered My Mind, but that quickly makes way for Frozen Blue’s Woolfy-esque tropical, Brazilian bop. It’s brilliant arrangement of sax, keys, and female backing chorus, incredibly authentically updates an `80s chart sound. Shimmying somewhere between Animotion and Chaz Jankel, but with much bigger bass. Club Maritime is boogie, R`n`B bump`n`grind, a sort of duet, with a slick male – Sharivari-esque – spoken section. It’s dub counterpart features adulterated sexy exclamations, Art Of Noise / Max Headroom Fairlight tomfoolery, and lightning strike synths that’ll make you think of Prince & The Revolution.
There are proper songs here, and in places, such as Just Because You Are A Lady, nods to Japanese fusion and city pop. Easy Lee is piano-led pomp rock. A beefed-up Beach Boys, cut from the same cloth as Panda Bear. What You Doing To Yourself? is a broken ballad, a sad subverted Philly soul serenade. Imagine Jarvis Cocker doing his best Billy Paul. The protagonist of Me & Mrs. Jones left lonely, alone, on his jack. So this certainly isn’t just a quirky dub-disco record. It most definitely does away with those expectations. The climactic title track is a closing 10cc / I’m Not In Love drift.
Dibidim’s Superheaven is out now on Snorkel Records.