It's become almost voguish for members of bands to reveal that their music tastes are somewhat removed from the music they make with their mates. In nearly every interview he ever did, Bloc Party's Kele Okereke (he's dropped the surname, Madonna-style, for this debut solo release) seemed to mention his love of modern R&B or dance music, and though his band's output did dabble in dance music especially, it never quite matched up to the bluster.
No one could accuse Bloc Party of being averse to the dancefloor, or electronic music in general. Having internalized the jerky rhythmic lessons of their post-punk influences, they've eagerly outfitted their songs with club-friendly accoutrements and commissioned two albums of remixes. Yet the band is also often considered a major caretaker of trad-rock's rapidly diminishing flame, largely owing to its anthemics and lead singer Kele Okereke's lyrical earnestness.
Have you ever been in a social situation where you’re around a couple who are obviously on the verge of some chaotic relationship breakdown? It’s a whole new dawn of awkwardness. Resentful glares, forced bonhomie, irreconcilable differences shoddily patched up for the sake of appearances. It’s the sort of situation that Bloc Party could have soundtracked with their last album Intimacy, a record that summoned the indie grim-reaper like no other. ‘I want to make harsh electronic music’ said Kele, resigning Matt Tong’s drumming to the fingers-on-table variety, whilst guitarist Russell Lissack did um… well, not much really.
People used to buy physical copies of records. This process, known then as the music business, involved exchanging hard currency for acetate or vinyl. It was intimately connected to the record stores in which this took place processing and pigeonholing bands for commercial purposes. However, by the early ‘90s, bands were blurring the lines between music in the rock/pop sections and the dance/electronic sections of these record stores. On a mainstream level that was very commercially appealing. Bloc Party were a part of this, too, helping to demolish indie kids’ prejudices towards dance music, and perhaps even towards dancing itself. They also performed several spectacular ram-raids on the charts with killer singles like “Helicopter”, “Banquet”, and, more recently, “Flux”.