With a cup of coffee in my hand I observe the outside from my window discovering the homogenous thick grey scale of clouds covering the sky. I hear seagulls squealing and I think to myself, this is a blue monday. I turn on my stereo to listen to Trim the Fat’s new album ”How Strange” and find out that my speakers also strongly confirms the existence of a blue monday. The music streaming out from the speakers immediately reminds me of New Order and the synth-era of the late 80’s and 90’s…
Trim the fat – How Strange
I lean back in my couch, close my eyes and just hope the music will take me away to another place, far away from this dull, restless day.
The first track ”Beginning of the End” sets me in a melancholic state with its sad melody in the lead synth backed up by the suggestive bass line. The tune is dyspeptical and distant; it is travelling and I am along for the ride. I just don’t know where it’s going yet. The repeating guitar riff merges uncompelled with the sounds of the seagulls from outside my window. After deep contemplation in exactly 6 minutes and 45 seconds I’m woken up by ”How Strange”. The song is holding the name of the album title. The tune dances with my mind to an uplifting state. The clear influences of Trim the Fat circles around my head. Depeche Mode, New Order, Pet Shop Boys to name a few.
”Still Time” comes on followed by ”The Ultimate” both carrying the tribute to 80’s drum programming, filtered vocals, long deep basslines and crying synth melodies injected with hope. It is almost like being sad but with a smile on your face, beautiful.
While I’m hoping the next track will keep me in this mood, Trim the fat takes it one step further down the misery lane. Layer by Layer is powerful and yet sensitive. I am surprised how well articulated the red line of the album is. Heart-breaking piano rolls are dropping down from the ceiling. When I believe I can’t fall deeper, the piano is back in the next track ”Don’t Go So Fast” and it is taking more space. I feel the pulsing pain, but it’s worth it and I like it. I think Phil Collins would like this too.
”Honey Trap” is dance floor oriented and saves me from drowning in tears. Again references are hitting me. The XX comes to my mind instantly. This is blended with progressive dance floor beats. I consider myself to be schooled in dance music, especially in house. The attempt to reach out for the dancefloor fails fatally, this is way to cheesy…
In ”Masks” Trim the Fat returns to the cozy lap of the home listener. This tune suffers from splinters of the previous dance floor track, lands in a no man’s land and will perhaps be most appreciated by the indie-kid in the mood for some living room dancing with dear friends and wine…
All in all, Trim the Fat’s album is interesting!
As artists, strongly inspired by earlier decades of music styles attempt to create the music in a contemporary context, they often lack personality and genuiness, its only cut and copy. Trim the Fat, on the other hand makes it very personal. His inspiration of early electronic music works as a natural explanation to the unconstrained outcome of Trim the Fat’s talented musical mind. A story is being told and it’s being told from several angles. This music is eclectic and as a listener you are given the same freedom of choosing angle to approach this album. Personally I prefer listening to Trim the Fat’s more mellow, subtile tracks on the album. And while playing the album again, for the fourth time today, I quickly forget his false step into the dancefloor and enjoy the quiet tracks of the album with great pleasure.
How Strange is out May the 10th on Type Six Recordings
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