Tragically Hip… and Hollow
Music, as the great author Tolstoy once said, is the greatest of arts because of its uncanny ability to infect the audience with the artist’s message. A great song with a succinct message can move even the hardest to tears, but what are we to do when that message is ultimately lost? This, unfortunately, is the question begged by Giganta’s Force EP.
The dance floor, of course, is an arena that has been explored by musicians for centuries. The manifold throwbacks and reinterpretations of near-retro dance music have gone in any number of directions, leaving the precious few innovators with even fewer avenues to explore. Giganta, Athens DJ Eleni Adamopoulou, tragically fails to find any new path among those avenues. Force is a solid dance record– that much can’t be denied– but it fails to carry a message and it fails to create anything new.
From the opening beats of “Can’t Stop Playing,” with its Euro-house feel and chopped up sexy-voice samples, this EP already feels stale. Not that it lacks solid hooks or dance-friendly rhythms– those elements are present, illustrated in spades. It just feels like it’s been done before. Even from the first few bars, it feels as though you’re listening to a record that Thomas Bangalter made almost 20 years ago, which is certainly not the mark any artist shoots for today.
It could be a kind of premature retro sound that Giganta is pushing. The title track features the kind of warped R&B and soul vocal samples that millennials might attribute to Kanye West or Gen-X’ers would pin to RZA. That’s all fine and good, of course, as everything old becomes new again, but when the backing tracks are little more than predictable club beats, it becomes tough to enjoy.
In her own words, Giganta boldly proclaims that “Music is the force that creates hopes and dreams.” Nothing could be more true. But what hope and what dream is being expressed here? It’s tough to sense any hope or dream coming from a record that sounds like an early ’90s re-release. It yearns to be more, but sadly Force comes across as little more than dance-floor filler.