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Hercules & Love Affair 

Hercules and Love Affair (Mute/DFA)

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DJ Andy Butler is a champion of saucy, sweaty disco and house. But his debut album — made with a crew of N.Y.C. singers and musicians — hits all the emotions that dance music used to effortlessly express back in the day. Hercules and Love Affair layers soulful voices on top of brassy disco and lush ballads. Antony & the Johnsons' Antony Hegarty transforms into a dance-music diva, especially in the conga-propelled "Blind." Transsexual singer Nomi leads "You Belong," while Kim Ann Foxman smooths rough edges throughout. "Hercules Theme" has the longest legs, straddling a funky line and buoyed by trumpet, panting, and ecstatic beats by the DFA's Tim Goldsworthy. It all perfectly encapsulates Butler's ambitious dance mission.

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