Vicious Delicious, by Infected Mushroom
Suggested by Nicholas Fitterson
I’m not a dancer.
I mean, I do dance when pressed, at a social occasion or similar. I’m not a monster. But if given free reign to do my own thing, I’ll invariably sit this one out. Sarah is like me, though more militant in her unwavering refusal to join in, which I feel shows strength of character.
I will mosh, or headbang, or whatever it’s called these days. More than happy to flail my arms and crack heads in a pit, although the perennial concern about what to do with my spectacles traditionally kept me from locking horns on the rock club kill-floor too often. It’s all moot, of course. I’m forty-seven. The only clubs I’m familiar with these days are wrapped in chocolate and made by McVities.
Vicious Delicious is predominately the trance-like electronic dance sound that I’d associate with dank and acrid club dancefloors, where there’s a dagger-tang in the chemical haze and the air is pregnant with sweat. It’s glistening torsos in netted crop tops, glowstick and Evian and little blue pants. It’s hands weaving through smoke, it’s loved-up eyes and paper on the tongue. It’s rhythmic, hypnotic, made for moving.
It’s not my bag.
I lead a largely sedentary life. For exercise, it’s casual walking, at least until I’m brave enough to re-enter a swimming pool in a post-Covid world. I’ve an exercise bike, which is a clothes horse, and I’ve some fun Nintendo Switch movement games which I’m always on the cusp of firing up but never actually do. I’m a creature of habit. Given the choice, it’s Lindt ball over Yoga ball every time. So this album, with its exercise chic and pounding “boots cats” rhythm, is doing something for which I have no yearning, need or tolerance.
Perhaps I’m being reductive in this faux-derisory labelling, as in all honesty there are layers to the sound, and not all tracks adopt the pounding bass-drum dance beat. Enough do, however, meaning that tracks packed with otherness such as the rapped Artillery or the slower and spacious Forgive Me are fighting for relevance against the droning beats. These songs are the standouts, with my current favourite being Artillery.
Admittedly, the layers and tweaks to each track do offer up some interest across the piece. There’s a warmth in the traditional elements of the opening track Becoming Insane, and a surprising lightness to the structure of Heavyweight that I wasn’t expecting. The general sound is gloriously electronic throughout, conjuring the most adrenaline-fuelled arcade action imaginable. But despite these nuances, on the majority of tracks, all is subsumed into the jackhammer desire of the rampant and raging beat.
Despite my movement-based misgivings, I didn’t abhor what I heard here. I can safely say Infected Mushroom are my favourite Iranian DJ duo I’ve heard to date, and while I’m not a fan of the form I’ll admit it had a groove and a coolness that’s impossible to deny. While I’m unlikely to revisit this 5/10 album any time soon, I’d certainly recommend it to anyone who’s hankering to get up and dance.