- Don't kid yourself. Minilogue's still creating the lush mental atmospherics of their past; they just don't frame them in progressive trance anymore. The Swedish duo manages the melodic blissouts within a sound template that's gone mouse-in-the-night in comparison to their past, now preferring to distill intoxicating, often "ethnic" shards of melody into dense percussive workouts.
Their new Wagon Repair single is no exception. They've borrowed from the tribal thicket of their Cocoon single, "Jamaica," but they've amped up the humidity, creating a focused cult anthem of a sort that's almost appallingly simple in construction for how much disorientation it generates. Wrapped around an unrelenting drum blitz, "Snake Charmer" gets stinky and swank before it's supposed to. The track's title comes from the desert-sky bazaar sample that gives its twinkling tones something to shimmer against. In fact, "Snake Charmer" is a fantastic melding of title and tone, as its wild-eyed melody warbles in and out of its lattice-like rhythms like a stream of water let loose in cluttered halls.
B-side "Urban Slough" has more in common with the ambient second disc of the duo's full-length from earlier this year, Animals. A terse electro slap guides fresh dawn synths and bird sounds out of the cut's contemplative mode. Beach-stroll tones steady what little action Minilogue invokes here, creating a placid, breezy space that's almost Balearic in effect. In fact, via its stark contrast with the sweaty hump-back gains of "Snake Charmer," "Urban Slough" almost equals its emphatic counterpart in how well it reflects the duo's mastery of mood. But the heat comes first here, and "Snake Charmer" is one of the most immediately immersive singles in the duo's recent catalogue, as good a test for how much bend and torque you have left in your spine as I've heard this year.
A Snake Charmer
B Urban Slough