Which one hits harder may just be down to the mood that you're in. Getting ready for the party? Hope it takes you a while. "Trust" will ease you into the mood, a quirky entry into the beat-driven second-half of Chocolate. "Babel," which immediately follows "Trust," ups the groove and tones down the subtlety. "The Whistler" jettisons the latter altogether. Opting for a night in? You can't ask for a warmer or craftier set of dance floor-leaning tunes than the first seven. "Black Tick" is the only one that kicks like a mule, but it's also the shortest of the bunch.
What is abundantly clear in each half, though, is that Ali and Basti Schwarz are well and truly capable of something far greater than recently imagined. While they've been DJing in clubs, putting out mix CDs, releasing unremarkable dance floor fodder and generally continuing to "build their brand" by doing "the right things," it's been easy to forget how they got here in the first place. The string of remixes they put in the early part of the decade were brilliant, cracked pieces of electro house that didn't make you feel ashamed of the term. Weird enough to stand out, functional enough to destroy a floor.
You'll hear the duo veer off to one side or another often on Chocolate. But, as a whole, it serves as a long overdue reminder of what has made them so special. Whether it be the soft pump behind the quickly plucked guitar on "Legends" or moving Cassy left, right, up and down and daring you to find her, it seems that the album format has given the duo a purpose in the studio. It'd be a shame if it took another five years for them to do it again.
Fri / 25 Jun 2010
Todd L. Burns
01. Home Intro
02. Home feat. Daniel Wilde
05. Black Tick
06. I Can't Resist feat. Dave Aju
07. What You Want
08. Bon Voyage
09. Trust (Alternative Version feat. Seth Troxler)
11. Find Me feat. Cassy
13. The Whistler