Art Department's The Drawing Board consisted of eleven tracks of sparse, simple drum patterns and synth lines, with a dash of reverb, drifting indeterminately as Kenny Glasgow's off-tune voice repeated prosaisms until the words lost their meaning. Their sound was exciting for the way it seemed ahead of its time, but was starkly retro-leaning. They were also eleven rather similar tracks, which was effective in the context of an album, as it accentuated the individual feeling of suspension and encapsulated the concept.
Almost a year later, though, a new single that fits so closely to this same description just feels disappointing. Yes, I've got the idea, now I want to hear them doing something new. There will be many who disagree, because "Touch You Gently" is a sweet and idiosyncratic track; no one does house versions of a lovers' slow jam quite like Art Department. Even so, news of a collaboration album with Deniz Kurtel sounds promising, because if they were to rest on their laurels like this for very much longer without shaking things up, people would start to lose interest. Enough people, anyway.
In contrast, Brennan Green's remix has much more of a sense of purpose, amplifying "Tell Me Why" into a big-room disco powerhouse. The ostinatos are overlaid for tension, the central lyric is ushered in by dramatic piano chords, and the kicks and toms land like punches. It has somewhat coarser aims than the A-side, but it's a clearer success.
Buy Art Department - Touch You Gently at
Tracklist: Art Department - Touch You Gently A Touch You Gently
B Tell Me Why (Brennan Green Remix)