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Abum Review: Pretty Good Dance Moves “LIMO”



Hailing from the streets of Chicago, Illinois, Pretty Good Dance Moves has been putting in some serious work over the years to bring their infectious brand of electro-pop to the masses.

As a testament to the grind, PGDM’s efforts will culminate in their first major label release, LIMO, due to drop February 7th on Mad Dragon Records. Since their genesis in 2007, PGDM has grooved their way to the helm of the indie electropop scene in the respective kingdoms of Chicago and Brooklyn, undoubtedly ensuring that 2012 will be a banner year for these dudes.

Led by two friends-turned-bandmates, Jimmy and Aaron (yes, they intentionally redact their last names; lo-tech intrigue at its finest.), PGDM serves as a collaborative co-op for the duo’s likeminded musician friends to produce stunning, minimal soundscapes arranged as a continuous stream of electro-consciousness. The results are intriguing, and if you are a fan of sporting relaxing tunes as a soundtrack for your day-to-day, you will be better off to give these guys a solid listen.

The first thing you’ll notice about PGDM’s LIMO is that all song titles are arranged as movements. From Movement 1 to Movement 8, PGDM maintains a constant ebb and flow of plinks, plunks and oscillating synthesizers that begin at a lull and build with each subsequent track. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a concept album, unless the concept is hanging out, but there is definitely a strong theme and musical dialogue that carries throughout the eight track, thirty minute production.

As an example, Movement 1 is not a song able to stand on its own. Not even a little bit. This is not a slight to the album, but rather a nod to the technical aspects of their recording process. Fans will not clamor for the band to play Movement 1 in a live setting, and casual attendees at their shows would not even recognize Movement 1 as an independent track from LIMO. The entire composition of Movement 1 is to get the listener settled in for the intro drop of Movement 2, effectively setting the tone for the rest of the album’s structural tendencies. From sonic transitions to hip-thrusting drops and back again, PGDM takes the listener on a trip that is best described as quirky-fun-heady-magic-time-hooray.

Movement 4 is where LIMO begins to pick up major steam. It is a standout track that crescendos in time with a triumphant brass-ensemble riff, deftly supported by a fuzzed-out bass line. But, in keeping with PGDM’s style, that musical moment is supplanted by a new theme almost as quickly as it arrives. The big brass fades out as a muted trumpet solo subdues the listener with a feel reminiscent of the Speakeasies of yesteryear, only for the band to transition yet again back into their pop-friendly stylings, Movements 6 thru 8.

Up until Movements 6 thru 8, Jimmy and Aaron remain almost entirely mute, allowing instead for the interplay between their diverse compositional elements to do the album’s heavy lifting. In the waning moments of LIMO, the duo trade sweet serenades that display their beautiful, hushed falsettos. It is a fitting sendoff to an album full of twists and turns that work together seamlessly to produce a listening experience that merits an immediate repeat.

PGDM have set themselves up to make some lo-fi waves in the coming year, and I cannot wait to see these guys bust out their opus in a live setting.

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