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Album of the Week: Tensnake 'Glow'

"A venomous bite from Tensnake" - introducing our new intern Francesca Evans, with her first published article on Spotlight.

Artist: Tensnake
Album: Glow
Label: Astralwerks
Release date: 10/03/14

There is always that one song that transports you back to memories of summer: sun, smiles and tanned skin. For me, Coma Cat has always been that tune. For Tensnake, AKA German DJ and producer Marco Niemerski, the massive hit catapulted him on to the electronic music scene and exploded on dance floors everywhere. And he is definitely the cat that got the cream after 2013 saw him complete a summer of Ibiza sets including Pacha, a US tour and two sets at Manchester's Warehouse Project on New Year's Eve. Tensnake shows no sign of slowing the pace, and released his highly anticipated album on March 10th.

The aptly titled Glow is a mix of bright beats, colourful crescendos and vibrant vocals. It features collaborations with guitar legend Nile Rodgers, Tasmanian vocalist Fiora and soul artist Jamie Lidell. If you aren't partial to a bit of D. I. S. C. O. with your electro then this isn't the album for you. The whole vibe of the LP is similar to Daft Punk's latest helping with a little less funk and a lot less auto tune. I have a theory there are certain songs you can only listen to at certain times of the year, a bit like you can only really drink Fanta Lemon in the summertime. Packed to the brim with tracks that are happy, upbeat and fresh, this album is definitely what I'd call sunshine music. But although Glow has me reaching for my shades and sun block, it is also rich in diversity. Portions of the album transcend pure disco-house, taking the listener in to a whole new genre territory, with appetising slices of deep house and R&B thrown in for good measure.


Play on repeat: There are a few contenders but No Colour I found myself returning to again and again...

Skip this track: Ten Minutes - it's actually only one minute (I feel cheated) but is more a filler track, like an unecessary gherkin in your Big Mac.


The stand out track is Love Sublime and it has already caught the ear of Annie Mac who premiered the song on Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show, labelling it as the “hottest record in the world.” The disco-pop vibe is strong, with Tensnake's signature style sound complimented by the guitar groove of Nile Rodgers and sugar sweet vocals of Fiora. The trio come together again on Good To Keep but it's singer/songwriter Fiora that lends her soulful talents to four more tracks including No Relief (with a bassline as toe tapping as Route 94's My Love plus a good hook and 80s vibe), and See Right Through which is as smooth a supplement as Benediction by Hot Natured.

Holla and 58 Bmp are diverse in comparison to the other discotastic deliveries on the album. Holla is a delicious slice of R&B genius while 58 Bmp is so chilled and slow tempo'd it reminds me of the end of the night when the lights go up in the club and everyone is off home and you're stumbling to the nearest burger van. Or maybe that's just me.

No Colour is in no way a black and white track with the absence of vocals making way for a hint of dubstep. Far from being monotonous, this track actually goes somewhere towards a “drop” (albeit merely a stumble) but still maintains its fresh, easy listening appeal. It is one of those finger clickers that you can't help yourself nodding to. Usually on a crowded bus. With everyone staring.

To sum up, Glow shines bright with strong emphasis on vocals as opposed to usual club bangers. With most tracks being a generous four minutes long, there's something different to like with every song, proving the enigmatic electronic music pioneer has evolved from his 2010 hit Coma Cat with flying colours; a venomous bite from Tensnake.


Tracklist:

01. First Song
02. Love Sublime feat. Nile Rodgers & Fiora
03. Feel Of Love feat. Jacques Lu Cont & Jamie Lidell
04. No Colour
05. Ten Minutes
06. Kill The Time feat. Fiora
07. Selfish feat. Jeremy Glenn
08. Good Enough To Keep feat. Nile Rodgers & Fiora
09. Give Me
10. Listen Everybody
11. See Right Through feat. Fiora
12. No Relief feat. Fiora
13. Things Left To Say
14. 58 BPM feat. Fiora
15. Last Song

Words by Francesca Evans


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