Allan Shotter and Giada Zerbo first formed their Vittoria Fleet collaboration in Hackney, UK before 2011 saw them relocating to Berlin on the eve of the release of their debut EP ‘Kissing Cousins.’ While a four year period of near silence from the duo followed preceding the release of their debut album ‘Acht LP’ on n5MD, this follow-up collection ‘Greed LP’ comes far more swiftly, arriving a scant year and a half after its predecessor. While ‘Acht LP’ saw Shotter and Zerbo maintaining a palpable connection to the post-IDM scene typified by n5MD’s artist roster, the twelve tracks collected here see the duo shifting towards more towards electronic pop structures, and indeed there’s frequently a closer kinship to be found here with the likes of Austra and Purity Ring than anything else.
That said though, while there’s certainly a greater degree of immediacy and accessibility to these tracks, the interplay between Zerbo’s swooning vocals and Shotter’s muscular and detailed electronic backings feels as sharp as ever. It’s also this contrast between the lighter vocal shades and the darker and frequently more moody electronics that stops things from ever really lapsing into sickly sweetness. ‘Mother Ocean’ opens this album with a fanfare of glittering synth arpeggios suddenly giving way to propulsive house rhythms and juddering bass sequences, Zerbo’s breathy close-miked vocals prowling against a building wall of cold synth atmosphere, before buzzing bass chords lock down around the programmed rhythms, sending the entire track gliding off to its suitably brooding conclusion.
‘The Shape Of Things To Come’ meanwhile ventures closer to the centre of the dancefloor, sending crisp tech-house rhythms and atmospheric synth ripples rolling as Zerbo’s vocals float suspended amidst a backdrop of smeared-out synth colours and muted bass runs, the entire track having a curiously weightless feel to it. Elsewhere, ‘Like Glue’ sees the snapping broken rhythms evoking a more garage-centred feel as brooding sub-bass swells and blurred synth distortion add a dark counterpoint to the teasing, obsessive sounding lyrics, before ‘Blue Drops’ drops the tempo in favour of a wander down into languid hip hop beats and icy glittering electronics. While ‘Greed LP’ offers up a far more pop-oriented listen than I’m usually accustomed to hearing from the N5MD label, Vittoria Fleet haven’t lost grip of the darker shades that have contributed an intriguing edge to their previous work.