Vicarious Bliss might well be a name that you’ve heard before if you’ve got an encyclopaedic knowledge of Ed Banger Records. For or the uninitiated it’s actually the alias on former Mancunian turned Parisian Andy Gardiner, who was actually the third ever artist to get a release on Ed Banger Records way back in 2003, with his breakout track ‘Theme From Vicarious Bliss’, which yielded a rather excellent Justice remix.
Since then, Gardiner’s output has been patchy to say the least, with only a handful of releases under his Vicarious Bliss name. Since his debut on Ed Banger, Gardiner has been in the background producing for the likes of Ladytron and generally living the dream in Paris, where he’s recently started a new label, Splinter Records, which is the home of Roman Kouder and the like.
Well, he’s finally come out of his own self-imposed hiatus with a brand-new track alongside Kim “TAY TAY TAY TAY TAY” Appleby (of Mel & Kim fame), who were behind breakout 80s disco funk track ‘Respectable’.
Apparently, ‘(Whatever Makes You) Happy’ was actually written some 16 years ago but Gardiner and Appleby never got around to actually finishing it, let a lone releasing it, until that it is Gardiner found the vocal on a old hard drive recently and decided to finally finish what he and Appleby had started all those years ago.
So has ‘(Whatever Make You) Happy’ been he worth the 16 year wait? Most definitely. The combination of fuzzy basslines, Appleby’s starry-eyed vocals and some very clever melodies (that are there to merely support Appleby’s lucious vocals rather than trying to dominate them) all combine for a stunning slice of French avant-garde pop. And there’s even a stunning animated video which adds even further to the track’s majesty from Regards Coupables.
Basically, it’s the whole package.