Review: Fata Morgana - Love Deluxe
The latest offering from well established Melbourne label Soothsayer comes in the form of Fata Morgana, the second EP from Sydney’s own Mike O’Connell – better known by his alias Love Deluxe. The follow up to his 2017 debut Silk Mirage, the four tracks on Fata Morgana draw on a similar sonic palate to O’Connell’s previous releases. Harnessing his knack for jazz infused improvisation and bouncing nu-disco rhythms, Fata Morgana showcases the strides O’Connell has made in the two years since his last release.
The opening number, Campari & Coke layers’ smooth keys and rhythmic guitar over shuffling up-tempo disco percussion, displaying O’Connell’s razor sharp ear for live instrumentation. Bursting with feel good energy, the roof is well and truly raised in the track’s final minutes by an epic saxophone solo that pulls no punches.
Following the EP’s dynamic opening, things take a bit of a sleazier turn on Dance of The Lizard People – which was the first single from the release. The tempo is dialled back but the groove is definitely still there, this time with a distinctly wonky, psychedelic flavour.
Miyako Koda from the seminal Japanese avant-pop duo dip in the pool makes a rare guest appearance on Souvenir, the EP’s third track. Her hypnotic vocals tie together a swirling variety of disco instrumentation to create what is undoubtedly one of the record’s peak moments.
Finally, pensive chords guide us into the last track on the release. Paraíso is a deep cut that echoes the sensibilities of 90s Italian house, while still retaining O’Connell’s jazzy disco leanings. Certainly a worthy finale for the triumphant return of one of Sydney’s most exciting talents.
Words: Brenton Lowes