Invisible Conga People’s ‘Cable Dazed’ is surely one of the most serene and sensuous records to be cut to vinyl this year.
It was released through Mike Simonetti’s Italians Do It Better imprint, but sidesteps the Johnny Jewelisms that have made the label famous, settling instead for a supple, delicate mode of avant-house that’s as haunting as it is hip-shaking.
“I was into bands like PiL and Can when I was a teenager,” explains vocalist/guitarist Justin Simon, “and those sorts of bands were my gateway to dance stuff. Then I was in a group called We Acediasts in Tokyo, and the singer took me out dancing. I was pretty much hooked on club music from that moment. It was just so much more fun than staring at a band.”
Curiously, though, the Manhattan-based ICP are exactly that – a band, comprising Justin and his friend Eric Tsai. “Eric and I met in 2003. I knew Eric built pedals and could help me put together an interesting, ambitious set-up, and in 2006 we started practising in the basement of Exit Art Gallery. Where we’re going…I’m not sure.”
It’s safe to say they’re going places, with a single due on DFA later this year, tortuous recording processes permitting. “We don’t use computers or software,” Justin continues. “Our setup consists of lots of effects pedals, analogue synths, and guitar. The 12” was almost all live instrumentation.”
Justin has known IDIB boss and fellow New Jersey native Mike Simonetti since he was 14, and last year asked Mike if he would distribute an ICP cassette. The Troubleman went one better and offered to put out 12”.‘Cable Dazed’ is nothing if not melancholic, with Justin and Eric’s wistful, interlocking vocals riding a 4/4 pulse so muted that it stretches the very definition of ‘dance’ music.
“At the end of the day,” Justin concludes, “I don’t think we made a proper ‘dance’ 12” at all. It basically lacks all of the most important ingredients for a dance record. There’s the stuff that makes you want to hug and high-five everybody, and then there’s stuff that feels better to just close your eyes to and sway back and forth to. I think we’re probably making the latter.”