Cassius Au Rêve (Astralwerks) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
French disco house gurus Cassius return with an album that, thankfully, eschews the loop-and-filter clichés on which they built their rep. This time they've hired real singers Jocelyn Brown and Leroy Burgess to give their disco thumpers some personality, and concentrated on song structures rather than repetitive tracks. Ghostface Killah's cameo on the hip-house Thrilla is much more entertaining and funky than you'd expect, and the frequent use of rock guitar works surprisingly well. Along with the pop-house anthems, there's a bunch of quirky techno-hiphop beats that approach electro territory without resorting to vocoders or arpeggiated synth lines. Sweet.