- There's a little shaker on "In the End (I Want You To Cry)" that's really high in the mix at about five minutes into the track. It sits there, holding firm as a mash of samples—a guitar line, a synth pattern, handclaps—get lowered in anticipation of the triumphant climax of the tune. It's a simple, silly thing to get hung up on, but every time I listen, it reminds just how much of a jalopy this thing—and the rest of Tensnake's Running Back debut—is: These are tracks held together by triangle parts, the pop! that occurs at the end of each guitar riff and malfunctioning sonar pings.
This isn't to say that Tensnake's a sloppy producer. Far from it. Marco Niemerski, the man behind the moniker, is instead a master craftsman, taking in chunky beats and rubbing them up against wire strings until they work. I imagine him in his studio listening to loops over and over until these dirty samples make sense to him playing alongside one another. It mirrors how it's taken me a few run-throughs to really warm up to the four tracks on offer as well.
Once they do hit, though, they'll likely be in your brain for a while: "TheThenUnknown" mines the calming sensations of Kosmiche pioneers, only rising to offer some hand drums in its latter half after twirling synths around its finger for much of its length, while "Holding Back My Love" earns its keep by transforming yearning Balearic into that aforementioned sonar ping fest. The only thing here that doesn't quite match up is "Can You Feel It," which earns its digital status by reveling in its own bongo-laden trackiness. There's nothing wrong with bongos, but its symptomatic of the cleanliness that abounds. Keep to the raw and vinyl here, they won't steer you wrong.
A In The End (I Want You To Cry)
B1 Holding Back (My Love)
Digital: Can You Feel It