Various Artists 

After Dark

This is softcore: a full-length sampler featuring non-album cuts, demos, remixes and covers from the roster of the Italians Do It Better imprint, After Dark’s plush, slow-burning techno embodies a particularly connoisseurial brand of hedonism, all mood lighting and shiny shirts with the top three buttons undone. If it gives off the aroma of cheese, it’s only a faint whiff: the mix (like a good DJ set, the tone is remarkably cohesive across the five artists represented) favors the tidal synth build-ups and viscous vocals. The smoothest operators on hand are the recovering no-wavers Glass Candy — singer Ida No’s cooing makes their version of Kraftwerk’s ‘Computer Love’ less a cover than a baby blanket; ‘Miss Broadway’ is an almost Chic-y workout in string runs and chicken scratch — and Professor Genius, whose man-machine album-closer ‘Pegaso’ plays like a lost ‘Blue Monday’ remix, with a slightly biblical flavor. Mirage’s flourishy remix of the chestnut ‘Last Night a DJ Saved My Life’, drives home the point: this is luxury brand dance music, less the bare backbone of a house party than the pulse of some submarine bachelor pad.


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