Album Reviews

Silicone Soul – Staring Into Space

(Soma) UK release date: 11 April 2005

Stylistically, Silicone Soul occupy the lighter end of Soma’s house output, weighing in somewhere just below their bosses Slam. That’s not to say they’re a pushover though, as this long player demonstrates.

On the face of it the track titles suggest an association with the dark side, but they don’t seem to bear much resemblance to the material contained within. All, that is, except for The Poisoner’s Diary, where Stuart of Viva Stereo guests on an appropriately chilling vocal track that recalls Karl Hyde‘s vocals on Underworld tracks Pearl’s Girl and King Of Snake.

More indicative of Silicone Soul’s overall mood is Feeling Blue, the ultra cool single whose subtle hook burns a path straight into your musical memory. Previous release Les Nocturnes is even better, simplicity itself with a stepwise bassline but highly atmospheric and perfectly suited to a darker, clubby dancefloor. Its less is more approach has seen it qualify as a big favourite with DJs such as Pete Tong and Dave Seaman.

Smoke And Mirrors ventures out on a jazzy tip, making a play for the West Coast housers. With this sort of music the temptation is always to include a lengthy and laborious keyboard solo with far too many notes, but here the solo is concise and too the point. The downbeat You Can’t Lose What You Never Had also excels, with a catchy vocal hook proclaiming “this feeling’s getting stronger”.

As indicated the Glasgow duo’s dark side reveals itself as the album unfolds, and Under A Werewolf Moon’s cool ’90s-style keyboard gets a menacing bass that cuts through the solid house beats. Room 666 At The Deadly Hotel (where’s Ozzy when you need him?!) takes a macabre Hammond organ riff and spins it out over warmer, synthesized chords. Not their best moment by any means, but further proof they can mix up tempi to good effect.

Although they hail from the Clyde it’s easy to see how Silicone Soul have secured a fan base on the other side of the Atlantic. Their solid yet understated take on house music, never heavy but reassuringly full bodied on the kick drum, seems perfectly suited for the sets of DJs such as Miguel Migs.

Over here of course they have many a Soma act to complement them, and although short on vocal tracks they are putting together a live set for the Slam tent at this year’s T In The Park. With a quality back catalogue that’s enhanced still further by this new release, the future’s bright – just don’t believe the tracklisting!

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Silicone Soul – Save Our Souls
Silicone Soul – Staring Into Space