Australian band chases the nu-disco funk groove

Photo courtesy of Nu disco duo Codebreaker released a debut album, “The Space Chase,” on Feb. 15 on Disco Demolition Records.

Codebreaker, made up of Steven Hawley and Sage Schwarm of Christmas Island, Australia, released its debut album “The Space Chase” Feb. 15.

The album is a vibrant model of the emerging nu- disco genre that is gaining popularity in the U.S. The duo is pioneering the young genre, which fuses elements of modern dance and house music with those of disco and funk from the ’70s and ’80s.

With solid dance beats, funky guitar riffs, futuristic synthesizers and cheesy vocals, “The Space Chase” is a shining example of nu-disco’s potential. On the surface, the album is fun and easy to dance to, but it is also sophisticated in the way it is produced and mixed. The result is a sleek album that will appeal to many modern listeners, even those without an appreciation for the fine art of traditional disco.

The first track, “Silver Lining,” introduces spacey synthesizer effects that permeate the album but quickly establish a solid disco beat accompanied by tambourine and clapping. Short, lyrical phrases, effects and synthesizer solos are interspersed so that even after six minutes, the song never becomes dull.

Similar techniques are used throughout the album to keep the body dancing while simultaneously taking the mind on a trippy, synthy sojourn through space.

All of this is laden with cheesy lyrics about love that supposedly died out after the ’70s and early ’80s. The singing is rarely so pronounced that it becomes too cheesy but is still quite fun and provides a humorous glimpse into how love was once expressed in the music of a past era.

However, the romance really heats up in an entertaining way when they break out the French in the sixth track “Sous l’ Choc,” featuring Marc Gauvin.

Other enjoyable tracks include “Follow Me” and “First True Love Affair.” While each track isn’t amazing, they are all exceedingly entertaining and will put you in the mood to get you groove on to wherever you are.

The synthesizer has seen quite the rebirth in the 21st century, and Codebreaker masterfully employs it and other modern techniques to give disco and funk a fresh, sleek coat of paint, reviving a genre that many thought to be dead.
Tune in to KSLC 90.3 FM to hear tracks from Codebreaker’s “The Space Chase.”

Braden Smith/KSLC 90.3 FM
Braden Smith can be reached at

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One Response to “Australian band chases the nu-disco funk groove”

  1. Ellie G. on September 26th, 2011 11:10 am

    Steven and Sage are actually from Milwaukee, Wiscosin, NOT Australia.


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