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Delorean – Apar

Delorean – 'Apar' album review

The Basque group let their sun-drenched electronica mature on a smart fourth album

By Clare Considine
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Never let it be said that the Spanish aren’t capable of a bit of good old-fashioned stiff upper lip. Delorean’s fourth studio album was written in the shadows of break-ups and a national financial crisis, but it holds stoically tight to the sun-drenched euphoria for which the Basque group have become known. At the same time, ‘Apar’ sees them take that sound somewhere new. It would’ve been so easy to get stuck in that heady summer of 2009, when everyone in Dalston wished they were in Barcelona, on ecstasy and hanging out with John Talabot and El Guincho – but this time Delorean display a well-rounded maturity that could see them achieve genuine cultural longevity.

Delorean frontman Ekhi Lopetegi, describes ‘Apar’ as their ‘big production album’. It’s their first outing on True Panther Records, and – perhaps in an attempt to deliver the goods for a label that could quite feasibly be described as their spiritual home – the boys have produced a sound that moves way beyond soundtracking poppers and pillocks at an east London afterparty. On first listen it’s hard not to pine for the easy pleasure of those big house moments that featured so heavily on 2010’s ‘Subiza’: rousing pianos are thin on the ground now, and samples have been replaced by original studio work. The chiffon-and-diamante soul divas that Delorean sampled on previous records are replaced by indie musicians in vintage pinafores: Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek and Glasser’s Cameron Mesirow both take turns on guest vocals.

Overall, though, the group’s organic ambition has paid off. Album opener ‘Spirit’ lives up to its name, unabashedly piling choir vocals on top of searing guitars and neon-bright synths. Elsewhere the daybreak delirium is punctuated by a well-observed melancholy – there are wistful hints of Poliça on ‘Unhold’; you’ll root for Lopetegi’s windswept, second-language croons on ‘Destitute Time’; and album closer, ‘Still You’, plays a New Order-style blinder: it’s capable of slaying a dancefloor or drawing a salty Spanish tear, depending on the mood.

Part of Delorean’s charm has always been their nerdy, Hot Chip-like ability to squirrel away influences from right across the board (they are incurable R Kelly groupies) and somehow work them into something entirely idiosyncratic. This fourth album seals their sound, deserving a place amongst this year’s success stories – and not just to cure those glass-half-full broken hearts. Buy this album here

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