Saturday, 18 October 2008

Mirror Music – The Strange Things I’ll Remember

Graeme Reedie of Silicone Soul and film score aficionado Dave Donaldson combine forces to make an album under the guise Mirror Music on Soma records.

With two people with such talent and skill in the studio you would expect something pretty special that combines the sexy deep house skills of Silicone Soul and the atmospheric soundscapes of a big budget film score. Well that’s what it sounds like so they get points for that, but it’s maybe one of the most bland dance albums I have heard in a while.

There is no vitality that the likes of Minilogue have with their excellent album Animals, which covers much of the same ground but with a more minimal pulse and an ambient atmosphere. The Strange Things I’ll Remember isn’t a complete loss though.

The sounds and the influences all have their hearts in the right place. By that I mean the overall feel of the record is warm and punchy with some seriously excellent instrument sounds, like the comfort of the lounge drenched Rhodes on ‘Rack and Ruin’ , which also features a spacey dub sounding drum loop.

The deep dub house thing has been done before a long time ago and a lot better in the time Tribal house ruled the clubs and people like Hipp-e and Halo were kings, even Silicone Soul had their hayday then. None of the tracks reach the heady heights of ‘Right On!’ or my personal favourite, ‘Chic-O-La (H-Foundation Mix)’ but that’s all in the past now…

I will get the low points out of the way first: The title track that reminds me of a boring version of Superstition by Stevie Wonder but with a plod and no soul. ‘Fun’ is the lowest of the low, I can see what they have tried to do, take the mick out of a Bond soundtrack and have a bit of a laugh with the music. But in the end it’s less like actual fun and more like the fun you have watching an embarrassing uncle dance, while drunk, with someone’s sunglasses on and his fingers held in a 007 pistol position.

And now for the high points: ‘Medicine’ sounds like a classic Soma release of recent years from the likes of Slam. ‘Gateway’ starts well with some hypnotic Rhodes and a pounding beat; this is some nice, deep, cosmic disco. If you want some disco cliché’s but done well you can’t go far wrong with ‘Gravity Groove’ and its shimmery guitars and bouncy style. ‘Sight Unseen’ reminds me of Slam’s ‘Lifetime’ with its subtle and almost Reece bassline, there is also a breakdown in it that sounds like a house version of ‘Come As You Are’ by Nirvana.

The Strange Things I’ll Remember is so hit’n’miss it becomes a big bland plod, but if you own a cheesy little posh bar that sells really expensive cocktails and only let people in with shoes this could be the album for you.

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