A year and a half ago, THE MFA returned to the fore once more, when we released their "Oranges and Lemons EP".
Their new album, “Lights Out”, which could be described as a long time coming, is definitely THE MFA’s most ambitious work to date.
As they put it in their own words: “The album is very special to us. It’s a long ambition brought to fruition. It’s an album that is at home on the dancefloor or at home. We’ve always been influenced by 90s rave culture and the club scene of that era and the explosion of creative freedom through electronic music that happened back then.”
The album sums up what THE MFA stands for; their love of electronic music intertwined their love of songs and melody, sometimes banging, sometimes pensive, sometimes longing, occasionally up-beat and happy. Melodic techno-pop-rave then.
The album opener "My Desire" pins down the essence of the album, showing some pop sensibility and a healthy dose of that early 90s spirit with longing vocals by Rhys Evans. The track shows from many angles of the intensity of what club culture was about. The track has, for sure, that pop quality which sets it apart - it is a very complete and rounded and in the true sense, a hit.
"Identify This" kicks off with blissed-out sci-fi sounds but commences with 90s rave chords that gets under your skin and creates a fantastic kaleidoscopic picture of moody UK rave with these spurts of emotional uplifting moments which are worth every penny.
"Bear Likes To Rave" takes us back to the warehouse days and reminds us of the acid warehouse parties with fanned stroboscope beams and dry ice cannons. It’s like looking down on a rave party happening from above, from a bird's eye view, which is in full swing where the euphoria spills over into the audience. "Girl Ahead" is a vocal track exclusively on the digital version of the album, again with Rhys Evans on vocal duties. Here they ponder all the possibilities of the future and the mistakes of the past. Features space toms and grand piano rave chords to evoke a housy feel within.
With "Freedom24" a Hi-NRG melody meets nightcrawler sounds ala "Klang De Familie". This is a soundtrack for the night.
"Lammas Day" has the chilling exotic quality of 808 State "Pacific State" if you grant us this comparison, paired with some phantastic Dr Who sensibilities! This track is quite a voyage!
"Warehouse"... Make Some F-...ing Noise... A TV presenter speaks about Acid house...... This is a wild mash up of impressions which nicely go together due to the melodic string composition and the 303 sequences.
"The Snapping Branch" starts with a mash up of sounds and then dives into an episodic snapshot of "happiness" when the serotonin shoots in (just before it drops). Experiencing a perfect flow that does not want to end. Every clubber knows that feeling.
"You Make Me Smile" is the third vocal track on the album featuring Rhys Evans on vocals. It has fantastic radical stark mood changes and blatant shifts, therefore throws the listener from one corner to the other. Just like the contrast of day and night. Bits here and there might conjure a Radiohead spirit, but really this is all MFA.
"Lights Out” certainly puts across the feeling you get at the end of the night - the club has closed; you are walking home. These are the sounds and feelings in your memories as you chase the vibe that is dwindling as the club becomes ever further away.