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Errorsmith Superlative Fatigue PAN

Erik Wiegand, aka Errorsmith, has always traded in high-voltage playfulness. I mean, dude’s name is an Aerosmith joke: it’s right there on the table. No matter where his headspace has been at across a two decades-long career – spanning abstract sound squiggles through to pumping club wares, solo and in fêted duos MMM and Smith N Hack – there’s a detectable frisson of unpredictability.

Even so, Superlative Fatigue comes as a surprise. As the first Errorsmith full-length in 13 years, and really his first studio album full stop, I can’t say I expected a package of day-glo UK club trax, but here we are. It arrives at a good time: this might well have got lost in the shuffle a decade ago when free-spirited amateurism permeated popular dance music, but now, it’s a breath of fresh air. Wiegand’s canny way of transmitting the giddy glee of making music for the clubs veers into straight foolishness at times – and works brilliantly.

If the titles weren’t enough of a giveaway (I’m Interesting, Cheerful and Sociable a particular highlight), the music doubles down on his flirting with the absurd. Springy SFX, comedy horns and bent synthetic strings all plunge low and soar high, pushing close to the wanton silliness of Siriusmo or SOPHIE, yet welded to the sort of tough drum patterns you’d hear on a Princípe record.

It’s hard not to be charmed by how ludicrous this album is at times: the title track is an intoxicating combination of bruk-out UK funky drums and barmy sound effects seemingly lifted from a child’s toy, while closer My Party is little more than Wiegand’s helium-addled voice looped over a click rhythm. Even when seemingly on a wind-up, Superlative Fatigue wins out.