Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tensnake - "Glow" (2014)

Marco Niemerski is the man behind the name Tensnake, a German producer and DJ whose music could be described as leaning towards retro. Drawing inspiration from disco, soul, boogie and 80s pop, he created his own style on the dancefloor, breaking through with his 2010 hit "Coma Cat". In 2014, he released his debut album titled "Glow".

Marco's inspirations can be heard all throughout the album. From start to finish, the sounds of funk and soul shine through and most of them are quite melancholic. The album kicks off with “First Song” made just for the album, a downtempo track with focus on drums and a low bassline humming throughout the track. It is a decent starter to introduce the general feeling of the album. It continues with the third single “Love Sublime” featuring some incredible guitar sounds by Nile Rodgers and vocals from Fiora. “Love Sublime” is a statement, a big representation of Tensnake’s sound and his Big Contribution to the modern sound of disco. It has a slower tempo than your classical house track, but it is still danceable and has lots of crossover potential. “Good Enough To Keep” also features all three of them and similarities can easily be drawn - the slow beat, great vocals from Fiora and Nile Rodgers’ trademark guitars.

The album cuts out in the middle for a fast statement “Ten Minutes” with female vocals stating: “I’ve been listening for ten minutes already to this Tensnake shit. What the fuck are you guys talking about. I know, but whatever, I don’t need any twinkly, Eighties, c’mon-lets-wear-a-tanktop-shit-fucking-rah-rah-rah-shit. I just want something hard, I just want big bass like, wah-wah-wah, like dubstep, like club step, like electro”. Here, Marco takes a jab at the harder styles of dance music and he obviously says that he does not want to be like everyone else: he wants to make his own music. The album continues in his own style and I have much respect for that: keeping his own style, evolving it continually to reach more people and not taking everything too seriously.

The album concludes with its first single “58 BPM”, featuring yet again the album’s vocal hero Fiora. Fiora had been very active in the trance scene, however I believe that this track is the best showcase of Tensnake’s production skills and the incredible singing ability of Fiora. The song has quite an interesting topic - how do you make a romantic song about a song’s tempo?! This is Tensnake and he can do it. And he did.

Unlike other dance albums released around the same time as “Glow”, this is not one smashed together of already proven hits. It is a coherent album that is understandable all together, not song by song. The varying tempo and retro-feeling sounds brought to today’s context give Tensnake’s debut album great value. And having seen him DJ twice in 2015 and meeting him, I can safely say that this man’s life is committed to making great music and is an absolutely great guy.

Listen to "Glow" on Spotify.

Simon Suviste
PS if you enjoy this, it might be worth keeping an eye on some huge future pop releases. And I mean HUGE.

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