COMA’s new record straddles the fence between electronic music for the club and electronic music for the home. This Side Of Paradise, their second album, attaches loose clouds of songs to typically beautiful Kompakt semi-ambient minimal beats, all sounding pretty compelling. CD or double 10” vinyl set.
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- This Side Of Paradise by COMA
7/10 Laurie Staff review, 08 October 2015
It’s 2nd album time for Coma, a duo of smooth, emotional beatmakers hailing from Cologne. Our Ian loved this, remarking that it’s a brighter shift for Kompakt, away from their usual “minimal and dark” stuff. Well there’s a view from someone in the know.
Not sure about Kompakt’s recent history myself, but this is definitely bright, the majority being chill house-tinged electronic that reminds of the club but could never realistically be played there. It sort of sounds like the morning, like waking up and throwing open the curtains in a fit of exuberant inspiration. Production-wise, there’s plenty to entertain - shifting stereo shakers drift about, tiny bells and succinct snares get shoved into the spotlight, and vocal chops shift between transparent and synth-glossed. I’m a bit tired of vocal treatments like this, but it’s house-y and there are rules. The rule of the genre, a tyrannical and restrictive rule, but a stable one. Sort of like Cameron’s Britain.
That’s not a dig at this though, god forbid, this one’s shortcomings lie elsewhere. The chordal and melodic movements are decidedly predictable - a typical symptom of this “at home and in the club” electronic music. Why? Again, the rule of the genre. Always use the standard minor key in house-driven electronic, it’s the only way to convey emotion, right? Wrong. So wrong. Anyway rant over, the flipside of that is that their beat patterns shift constantly over the course of the album, never content to sit with 4x4 or 2-step or whatever.
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