Beaumont's overlooked but stunning debut EP last year on Boxcutter's Kinnego label was a gorgeously downcast take on the Miami Vice synth-pop revival thing that's been going on the past few years, mixing romantic melodies with vintage drum machine sounds. Scotsman Michael Rintoul returns a year later on Hotflush with a slightly more assertive sound that suits him just as well.
Mostly gone are the sensual vocal whispers that emphasized Beaumont's pop slant, replaced on the stellar lead track "Never Love Me" by mumbled vocoders. It's a decisive track with an infectious main riff that recalls early Depeche Mode, all executed with Rintoul's usual delayed-gratification dynamics and cavernous atmospherics. The gentle "Uptown" continues with the vocoder coos, its lush pads hinting at adult contemporary territory. The two tracks on the flipside are much more in line with what we might consider "bass music" than Rintoul's earlier material, the needlepoint skip of "Rendez-Vous" hinting at recent Sepalcure and the thumping "Verona Beach" his own take on the swanky digital funk that seems to define the American west coast these days. On Never Love Me Beaumont explores new territory, and while he might have sacrificed some of what made his debut so distinctive, when those synth chords twinkle like stars in the night sky in the fading outro to "Uptown," it's difficult not to be swayed by Rintoul's musical sweet nothings.
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Tracklist: Beaumont - Never Love Me A1 Never Love Me
B2 Verona Beach