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Output Recordings


Colder CD coverColder's Again is Marc Nguyen Tan's first album, coming out on the excellent Output Recordings label. Often times a first album is so highly anticipated, it's hard to live up to the hype, but thankfully Colder work magic here. Combining together influences like Joy Division (the Heart and Soul type sound), the On U Sound dub sound, 1970s krautrocker's Can (with Damo Suzuki-like vocals) and a hint of Serge Gainsbourg curiosity (Colder are also French), Again works wonders as a downtempo balm. Even though Again doesn't try and break any new ground, they certainly know how to cull their influences together into a fine batch of songs, leaving us hope for much growth. There is also the added bonus of a DVD with videos for 6 songs, I think all cds should have DVDs in them these days.

Crazy Love starts out the album, and was previously featured on the excellent Channel 2 - A Compilation Of Output Recordings cd. This song is a great introduction to Colder and represents their sound quite well. The French have always been quite good at combining together the best elements of pop music into a stew of goodness, and Crazy Love does that with it's loose bass line, loping rhythm, chiming guitars and laidback vocals (not unlike those on a Tones on Tails or Love & Rockets song).

One Night In Tokyo keeps things going with a quiet fade-in and samples from radio broadcasts before it kicks into a loping dub rhythm and sly vocals about Tokyo (Japan has had a great dub scene in recent years). This song would not seem out of place in a Lost In Translation outtake. Shiny Star sounds like it could be an outtake from a Can album circa 1975 put through a dub blender. There's a urgency here which reminds me of Future Days era Can, updated slightly thanks to modern drum rhythms and dub workout.

Version has a more pronounced rhythm, and walking bass but retains the dub effects, while keyboards cascade over top. The radio ad sample which moves in near the end adds to the mystery - lost in the city feel of this track. Where has a more pronounced rhythm, but keeps the bass and guitar to a minimal effect. Colder ends the album, with the most real sounding vocals (sounding the most French we've heard on this album) and heaviest use of keyboard melodies and it works great.

---Patrick, October 28, 2003