Sin Cos Tan – Blown Away

Sin Cos Tan by Vilhelm Sjöström

Sin Cos Tan by Vilhelm Sjöström

With a sound as bracing and compelling as the concept story behind its narrative, Blown Away the third album from synth pop band Sin Cos Tan is another tantalising proposition from the Finnish duo. Flourishing from the potent base set by its two critically acclaimed predecessors as well as the band’s ever increasing reputation through live shows and festival appearances, the new release adds another twist to the creative web of intrigue which comes from the exploratory minds behind the project.

Consisting of Villa Nah songwriter/vocalist Juho Paalosmaa and producer/DJ Jori Hulkkonen (Processory) who has also worked with the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Chris Lowe, Jose Gonzalez, and Tiga, Sin Cos Tan follow their 2012 self-titled debut and the following Afterlife a year later, with a different kind of adventure. The album is centred round the concept story of Michael Burana, a middle-aged American man facing a dead-end job and a failed marriage. “To turn his life around, Michael decides to take a trip to Mexico, where he soon discovers a new career opportunity: that of a drug courier between the United States and South America. Blown Away picks up from the sunny beaches of Mexico, and follows Michael’s journey of newfound excess, fast money and hedonism; all the way to the corrupted heart of the Colombian cartels. Forever chasing the elusive ‘American Dream’, Michael’s tale is the soundtrack of a world like no other.” The tale is enveloped in a mix of electro and synth pop with a shoegaze like ambience which caresses the senses with a melodic beauty whilst inciting imagination and feet to embark on their own instinctive exploits. Blown Away is a captivating journey which even with a few less successful moments for personal tastes makes for an unrelentingly enthralling proposition.

The story opens with Divorcee and warm waves lapping upon a balmy atmosphere over enticing melodies. It is not long before the similarly tender coaxing vocals of Paalosmaa, amidst an irresistible web of guitar enterprise and pulsating image002bass breath, adds further simmering heat to the instantly delicious song. It is the perfect pop song, every twist coming with unpredictable yet welcoming ideation and a warmly embracing infectiousness. There is an eighties air to the track too, thoughts of China Crisis and Paul Haig coming to the fore with hints as the opener lights up ears and emotions. Its success is not quite matched but superbly supported by the following pulsating stroll of Love Sees No Colour. With a slightly punchier urgency to its rhythmic intent and pungent electro canvas, the song colours thoughts with a sultry twang of guitar and expressive keys. There is an OMD essence to the song’s elegant melodic croon which in turn is given extra evocative texture and weight by horn like flames and the incessant stride romping through the middle of it all.

A New World brings a danger in its touch, shadows flirting with the draw of the keys and the persistently mellow and inviting vocals. The song is like a drive through a new landscape, fleeting glimpses of emotive hues and potent melodic colouring stalked by an intimidating breath offered by the bass tones stalking the track. It is a treat for the imagination, allowing thoughts to cast their own premise whilst keys and voice take care of ears with poise and temptation. It does not quite live up to the first pair but certainly outshines next up Colombia. The slow provocative nature of the song with growing melodies and inventive keys makes for an expansive investigation of the tale within the album but the singular vocal delivery of Paalosmaa falls short and lacks the spark shown previously and when effects wrap his tones elsewhere in the song. It is too much at odds with the music but nevertheless the song is an engaging encounter, though soon a distant memory through the great dances of Lifestyle and Traffic.

The first of the two is a festival of sonic colour and mouth-watering endeavour, rhythms a magnetic revelry and keys a refreshing breeze. As much as they impress and ignite ears, it is the anthemic blaze of the chorus with Paalosmaa back on compelling form which steals the passions. Like a familiar friend yet entirely new, the chorus is an irresistible lure which makes a masterful temper and compliment to the more reserved but lively sounds around it. The instrumental travelogue of Traffic bubbles from its first note; keys and beats an invigorated provocation within a wind of crystalline scenes and turns, all swiftly passing into new aural sights for ears and thoughts.

The darker tone and presence of Addiction is a thrilling combination of imposing shadows and ominous melodies but with the constantly inviting vocals and more sparkling melodies it all merges for an imposing and engrossing mix. Its successor Cocaine offers the darkest twist of the album, its noir kissed climate of brass and desperation edged vocals aligned to drama bred keys, a disturbed but again enthralling and scintillating provocation for senses and imagination.

The release is completed by firstly the John Foxx like title track, with its emotional chills and haunted air, before the emotionally raw and inflamed presence of Heart Of America brings its epilogue of reality to bear on story and thoughts. Both are gripping turns in the album and as singular incitements, bringing the excellent Blown Away to a tense and fascinating conclusion. Quite simply Sin Cos Tan works on all aspects of the listener with their latest proposition and leaves a lingering and blissfully full appetite in its wake.

Blown Away is available now in CD digipak, gatefold vinyl LP, and download formats via http://solinarecords.com/

http://sincostan.net

8.5/10

RingMaster 18/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tim Paris – Dancers

TP

Dancers is the ideal title for the debut album from London based Parisian Tim Paris, each of its tracks whether an open flirtation or a more chilled proposition, a vibrant adventurous waltz. Better known as one half of It’s a Fine Line with Ivan Smagghe, Paris has sculpted songs which pull the imagination into unpredictable and vivacious soundscapes. Each one is distinct and stands alone in the tapestry of the release but have a symbiotic union which provides one refreshingly inventive landscape for senses and emotions to bask in. Dancers ebbs and flows in success across its body it is fair to say but only to waiver within a constant magnetic seduction which never relinquishes its strength.

As renowned for his remix invention which has seen him reinterpreting invention from the likes of The XX, Femi Kuti, Battant, Au Revoire Simone, Ewan Pearson, and Tiga, the DJ, producer, and musician now unleashes his own electronic alchemy through the album, merging the purest essences of synth pop, new wave, post punk, electronica, disco, house, and much more for transfixing and evocative aural climates. Dancers provides insights into richly flavoursome cinematic scenes but also ones which have an intimacy which goes beyond voyeurism to draw the listener emotionally into the imaginative investigations. Featuring a wealth of guests, the album is also a collaborative affair embraced by the creative ingenuity of Paris.

Opening track Golden Ratio strides boldly in on punchy beats and an electro tinkling which reminds instantly of Love Cats by The Cure Tim Paris - Dancersthough it takes little time to show its own distinct tease to the coaxing. The song then infuses intriguing melodic lures which do not nestle easily within the established pulse of the song but only accentuates the awakening potency. Featuring Georg Levin of Wahoo, the song opens up warm arms of melody bred enticement and smooth vocal expression which are themselves veined by intriguing twists of enterprise and electronic investigation. The post punk strict rhythmic heartbeat steers the journey allowing thoughts to take in the radiant sights and absorbing atmosphere. It is an adventure which midway takes a breath to return with an even more masterful hold on the appetite, a case of absence making the heart grow fonder.

The enticing start is matched by Rain which sees the guest appearance of Coco Solid of the Parallel Dance Ensemble. The song drips slightly chilled riffs down upon the ear whilst a rhythmic shuffle hurries across the senses. It is another alluring start given extra drama by the skirting dark throated bass, the combination building a striking premise which is enriched further by the cyber kissed vocal narrative. The repetitive spine of the track bewitches constantly; the stark core holding Joy Division/Bauhaus like predation around which the elegant and mesmeric call of the song spreads and croons.

The metallic breath of Outback, Stones & Vinyl soaks the ears next, the initial caress of the song courting a John Foxx essence which never leaves the infectious persuasion. As the track explores its seductive canvas, building and colouring the imagination with inspiring textures, the instrumental toys with the senses further, stretching its provocative enveloping with an additional Bill Nelson like invention. Like standing on a heaven lit cliff top whilst warm winds and sights wrap rivetingly around the senses, the song puts the listener in a hypnotic almost meditative emotional trance.

The following Minireich which features Sex Judas and Rupert Cross and Disco Ellipse both create a transfixing dancefloor bred temptation, though the pair tantalise and shimmer in their enticement rather than leap upon the eagerness of feet. The first has a definite Yello feel to its mischievous invention, vocally and in the devilish temptation offered whilst its successor is a cybernetic tango, flashing sonics and dazzling electronics spraying their bait around before the emotive weave of distressed melodies and restrained bedlam make their play successfully for the passions. Those nor the next up Unsung Deaf Hero fire up the same intensity of hunger and thrills as the opening songs but all captivate and refuse to release the album’s hold, the third of the trio a smothering wash of thick ambiences and funk spawned vocals casting a dark dance of inciting suggestiveness and mystery.

Dancers is back to dominating senses and mind with the outstanding drama of The Grip. With Ben Shemie, Paris lays a noir bred sinister atmosphere within which guitar and rhythms stalk the imagination, the encounter a soundtrack which could easily grace any caped crusader or futuristic darkly shadowed enigma. All the tracks allow the mind to run riot with their aural paint but this more than most conjures up stories and emotions to intoxicatingly bask in.

You’ll Never Know also creates a tenebrous encounter to immerse within, it’s again noir crafted riddle an imposing and incendiary fuse for an adventurous mind to run with whilst ears welcome the varied vocal hues and electronic weaves. It is a blend which is just as alluring in the slightly lighter Extreme Nails, its celestial stroll within a heavy but slow rhythmic frame a beacon for the listener to explore in their own design. Shadows as across most tracks are never far away with their tempering relish though they have to take more of a backseat within the fruity exploits of Heaven Parking which again sees Sex Judas involved. There is a subdued but visible lunacy to the song which brings thoughts of the eighties Martin Atkins band Brian Brain. It is a thrilling revelry which steps aside for the equally delicious Backseat Reflexion to close the album. The song sees Forrest joining Paris in a last irresistible seduction, electronics and melodies aligning within a shadow built emotional seduction.

It is a masterful end to a similarly consummate release, Dancers offering a collection of emotive and provocative vignettes which absorb thoughts and passions like a sponge for exhilarating experiences and adventures. Apart from the length of a few tracks stretching their staying power to clutch at straws in an attempt to temper the enthusiasm, Tim Paris has provided his finest hour with his own solo release, the first of many we hope and suspect.

Dancers is available on 2 x 12″ vinyl, CD, and download right now via My Favorite Robot Records.

http://www.facebook.com/djtimparis

9/10

RingMaster 12/04/2014

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