So much for big, popular records by recognizable bands! This week, we’re going for something rather obscure.
What is it?
Shine is a late-1999 electronica release by one of those European acts who like to change their name based on which way the winds are blowing, or the change of state of a subatomic particle, or whatever. For this record they called themselves the Space Brothers but that moniker was (mostly) discarded not long afterward. Which makes this kind of a debut record, but kind of not, for the purposes of our “debut record” ongoing project thread.
How does it sound?
Find your mix in the world:
Why this pick?
While Shine may not be the best or most notable late-90s electronica record, it captures a kind of sound that I still enjoy from time to time. It’s usually tagged as “trance,” for what that’s worth. The recipe for this kind of record looks something like:
(Ingredients – 1 or 2 dudes with synthesizers and contacts in the club scene. 1 female vocalist.)
Mix drum machine loops and melodic bleepings, add breathy vocals to taste.
Deliver a few key tracks to dance clubs as quickly as you can.
Release a CD, maybe. Maybe just stick with some 12″ singles. You do you, bro.
Which songs are the highlights?
“Shine” was my introduction to this album, thanks to a music video someone assembled based on material from an anime series I actually don’t like. It was a good video, though. And the song holds up quite well.
The other top tracks are “This Is Love,” “The Light,” “Forgiven,” and “Legacy.”
Look. It’s a trance record, there are very few distinguishing features from song to song. Let’s just move along, shall we?
Which songs don’t work so well?
With trance-type electronica, there’s a fine line between “chill background music with a catchy groove” and “music so in-the-background that it might as well not be there at all.” A few of the tracks here fall into that latter category, such as “Heaven Will Come” and “I Still Love You.”
Then there’s the closing track, “Beyond the Sun,” which is just plain dull.
Which album did you almost pick in favor of this one?
There’s no good answer to this question, here. There are no other Space Brothers albums, only a few scattered singles.
I didn’t pick anything by Scooter for this year’s project, so maybe their Mind The Gap. Dunno.
Any final thoughts?
I missed out by living in Portland instead of Seattle around the time this record came out, because they had a radio station up there which played this kind of stuff all the time. Maybe I’d have burned out on all the euro-styled dance music, maybe not.
Um. Next episode: More zombies! *
(* – zombies not included)