Colder - Many Colours - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Colder - Many Colours

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2015-11-10

There may have been many questions raised as to why there was a 10 year gap in the musical portfolio of Marc Nguyen Tan AKA Colder, since his last release Heat in 2005. The void could have provoked fears of Tan’s loss of creative energy or probe the current incentive behind the belated comeback.

While those thoughts continue to encircle in the atmosphere, the Parisian producer has looked to continue the path although in a more varied and dynamic format that will invite attentive inspection from fans.

The traceable influences of Kraftwerk, Joy Division, a toned down Depeche Mode, and even a subtle entry into coldwave/post-punk territory, find their markers on the various tracks. The mindful manipulation of pitch, tone and rhythms utilised by Tan in the multi instrumental matrix, confidently underpins the stark experimental atmosphere of light and shade evident throughout the album.

We are immediately introduced to the uniquely crafted main title ‘Many Colours’ it is as though Tan is  a cosmic traveller returning to inform the populace of his interplanetary experiences, he advises ‘Stay still don’t say a word/This is a tale of life that doesn’t come from this world/Many Cards, Many Smiles, Many Colours, Many Players’. The slick bass, synth and percussion patterns with glitchy breaks on here may recall late 90’s/early 00’s Electronic Dance music genre maxims, which makes it a more compelling listening experience.

Colder’s  vocal style is a beguiling mixture of subliminal beat poetry and deep whispering Johnny Cash-like articulations, which sets up the meditative character for the rest of the record and can be seen in the following key tracks.

Stealthy creeper ‘Another Year’ initially has a –Visage ‘Fade To Grey‘ moment then swells along with an arpeggiated synth skank, all the while allowing haunting touches of icy piano chords which brightens then eventually slows to a fading pulse.  The bright and brave new worldly ‘Turn Your Back’ makes fair use of a steady beat with sustained piano chords. I can hear a soft but slight David Bowie-esque inflection – albeit an octave higher - via Tan’s melodic phrasing and spacey layout. There is also available a Remixes EP, notable Highlights are the In Flagrenti and Patrice Baumel Remixes.

The colour scheme varies again on wistful head-nodding single ‘Midnight Fever’, an urban ballad with possessing ambient deep house undertones, could smoothly slot into an Ibiza bar morning after playlist rotation. This is made more inviting as it features ethereal Parisian chantress Owlle. The light and shade contrasts take another turn through ‘Keep For Yourself’ featuring a Trip-Hop rhythmic construct providing a gloomy metallic eerie backdrop for Tan’s pensive narratives to whisper deeply into the subconscious.

The absence of Colder on the musical landscape in the last decade, has allowed the release of ‘Many Colours’ to show an older and indeed wiser artist. It is rewarding to also see someone who doesn’t need to replicate formulas to please his audience in order produce an engaging enjoyable record.


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