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arsinetibe archivesongspartI
Artist: Arsine Tibé
Title: Archive Songs Part I and II (previously unreleased)
Genre: Lounge Noir
Release Date: 25th September 2020 and 20th November 2020
Label: areaDB

Review Flash

ARSINE TIBÉ is essentially a project by restless lounge-noir exponent Manfred Thomaser, and the two albums on offer here represent a selection of bits and pieces from the cutting-room floor, swept up, given a tidy, and presented as an un-released package. Could have been a disaster. It isn’t. Largely instrumental, there’s enough going on here to keep things interesting, hints of darkness and melancholy creating balance with the more easy-listening cuts. On Part I, both vocal tracks - ‘We Are Tomorrow’ and ‘Ariel’ - actually work better sans singing, so definitely a good idea to include the choice. ‘Gate No.7’ glides by quite beautifully, quietly majestic and soothing, and ‘Don’t Give Up’ is short and compact and busy. On Part II, birdsong gets ‘Universe I-III’ off to a wonderfully relaxing start, and it’s like watching a slow sunrise at first. The FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD bass and synths make this a surprisingly successful update of ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’. There are even guitars kicking the whole thing up the arse half way through, yet at over 11 minutes long, nothing here outstays its welcome. There’re skittering beats a-plenty on the light-of-touch ‘The International Trust Company’, a kind of grand sadness pervading ‘Hope’ which builds, as the title suggests, into something more positive. ‘Gun License’ feels like it doesn’t belong here, too manic and jittery, like it’s wandered into the wrong club. But there’s a wonderfully odd extended version of ‘Genetic Sample’, wonky swirls like the weird goings-on in a test-tube, or like watching oil dance about on water.

Conclusion: There’s usually a reason tracks remain unreleased, but if you’re sitting on a collection as diverse and interesting as this, it seems only fair that they be given a chance to see a bit of daylight.

Rating: 8 / 10

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