Tuesday, June 06, 2006

SINNER DC: Mount Age

SINNER DC: Mount Age (AI Records, 2006)

Switzerland’s contribution to music in general, and electronic music in particular, remains anecdotal, yet, Geneva-based trio Sinner DC have been forging an increasingly solid reputation for impeccable tunes and sweeping electronic sounds for themselves over the years. The band first appeared toward the end of the nineties with a series of albums released on various labels, but it is with last year’s superb Arkle Sparkle Avenue, released on Tritone Records, that the trio appeared to tighten up their grip on their format. Formed of bassist Julien Amey, drummer Steve Ammie and guitarist and vocalist Manuel Bravo, Sinner DC manipulate the Krautrock template to suit their infectious pop-tinted sound.

If Arkle Parkle Avenue was shimmering with airy arrangements, Mount Age sounds more introvert, hazy and melancholic. There is an incredible unity of sound all throughout the record as the band apply gentle sonic touches to dress each melody to perfection. Swathes of treated electric guitars and processed electronics, at times augmented with Bravo’s breathy vocals, create a captivating backdrop of earthy tones and textures and allows for the band to build on the natural evocative range of their previous releases. Sinner DC craft very effective pop songs and atmospheric instrumentals and manage to maintain a near-perfect balance between straightforward moments and more complex and challenging compositions. While the music can appear cold and calculated at first, Sinner DC show great dexterity at building perfect little melodies (Everything Is Sand, They Never Stay, Lady March, Mont-De-Marsan) and inject regular emotional probes throughout Mount Age, revealing a pleasingly accessible electro-pop side to their work. If this was already apparent in previous release, it takes here a much more obvious and sustained form.

A welcomed addition to the AI Records roster, Sinner DC have been linked with the excellent London-based imprint before, yet Mount Age is the first proper release from the band on the label. Here, the trio refine their sound and tighten up their musical frame to produce one of the most thoroughly enjoyable record of the year yet.

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