tue 27/02/2024

CD: Tonight Will Be Fine - Elephant Island | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Tonight Will Be Fine - Elephant Island

CD: Tonight Will Be Fine - Elephant Island

Hamburg beat-makers turn introspective singer-songwriters

DJs and techno producers doing “real music” doesn't always inspire the greatest of confidence: they often seem in thrall to other musicians, blind to what makes their own music special, or afraid to take the risks they would with their electronic production.

However, Julius Steinhoff of Hamburg's Smallville records and Abdeslam Hammouda, with whom he's been producing house tunes since 2008, defiantly buck that trend. On this album for the ever-reliable Tokyo label Mule Musiq, they've left the dancefloor a long way behind them, and created 13 gentle meditations on life, love and the mind: each a dreamy little world of its own, still with an underpinning groove, but much more about the mind than the body. It's no wonder the first track released from this album was called "Soliloquy".

Hammouda and Steinhoff are both clearly accomplished musicians, happily including banjo, violin, piano, tablas, accordians, acoustic guitars and even whistling as well as both of their whispery vocals, but they never allow this musicianship to be the point of the record. Though these are “proper songs” with “proper instruments” they treat the components as they would in dance tracks: not in the sense of processing them beyond recognition – indeed, obvious digital effects are not part of the palette here – but in that they create totalities of sound out of them, allowing subliminal background noises and accidents to become as much a part of the arrangement as the lead lines, and making each track more than the sum of its parts. Because of that, these indietronic ditties conceal hidden depths and, with friendly insidiousness, creep under your skin and demand repeated listens.


Though these are 'proper songs' with 'proper instruments' they treat the components as they would in dance tracks


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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