Artist: Minuit Machine
Release Date: 13th May 2019
Label: Synth Religion
French duo MINUIT MACHINE returns after a three year hiatus with their third album. Is there any difference after the break? First obvious change is the cover of the new record showing a new lettering of the band name and for the first time the heads behind the band, Hélene De Thoury and Amandine Stioui. Musically everything seems as it was. MINUIT MACHINE continues to play their mix of percussions from drum machines paired with cold electronics that background the dark vocals Stioui’s. The overall production seems to be improved. Most noticeable is that the percussions seem to play a more dominant role on this album, what helps to turn their used old-school-sound into a bit more modern production. Interesting is the absence of hi-hats almost over the whole album.
The album starts with the track ‘Chaos’ that doesn’t withhold to enfold a nice melody with a great sounding pad surrounded by an analogue sounding simple bass line. The kick and snare drums that join after a bit more than a minute are dynamic and show that the two women can’t wait to let the new album start. The chorus is wonderful; it is based mainly on Amandine’s raising voice. Remembrances on better times of KIRLIAN CAMERA with their former female singers come in mind. That’s a nice start and turns out to be one of my favourite tracks of the album!
The next song is ‘DRGS’, the first single from the album. Starting with dreamy pads joined by analogue sounding strings and tom salves, the song develops to a mid-tempo track. The lyrics are about the dying world and how this cognition can numbed with drugs: “The world is ending but I don’t care, we’re all dying but I don’t care - DRUGS”. Well, a very pessimistic view and I don’t believe that drugs are the solution! ‘Prey_Hunter’ starts as a slower track, but with clever percussion programming the tempo is raised after two minutes and the track turns to be a song meant to be danced to. Nice!
The style and sound of fourth song, ‘Empty Shell’, is not my cup of tea and this will be a song I have to skip when listening the album. But I am sure, people will love to dance to it and the chance is high that this track becomes a club-hit! ‘Ballet’ is the total difference to the above named track. MINUIT MACHINE plays to their strengths and this track becomes an instant favourite of mine. You can find great percussions, excellent songwriting with a developing melody and perfect attuned sounds here - the dark choir pairs great with the bass-line and the strings. Wow! The following songs, ‘98_’ and ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, follow the well-known scheme of the band. Nothing bad but nothing special either. ‘Sacrifice’ holds strong references to the 80s with its delayed claps, the dainty melodies and the vocals that offer a cheesy but great chorus.
‘I Am A Boy 2019’ is a remake of a track originally released in 2013 on album ‘Blue Moon’. Compared to the original track this will be a welcome gift for older fans as the original sounds very muddy while the new version offers a lot more details. It shows how the sound of the band developed mainly in production skills. And it will be a good track for the fans to be explored as it is a strong song that does the album good and is one of the highlights. ‘Forgive Me For My Sins’, the closing track, lowers the tempo to the end. Protracted percussions are combined with synthetic lead-sounds. Well, an ok song.
04. Empty Shell
07. Fear Of Missing Out
09. I Am A Boy 2019
10. Forgive Me For My Sins
Hélene De Thoury - Music
Amandine Stioui - Vocals
Total: 8 / 10