Anyone that professes a love for electronic music knows that French artists have made a significant contribution to the genre. When discussing French electronica Daft Punk and Air are the first names that pop up, throw in Justice and Cassius, and you are starting to get a better understanding of scene. But, until you delve into Colder, Marc Nguyen Tan's project that burst on to the scene with the debut album AGAIN in 2003/2004, you haven't begun to understand the importance of French Electronica.
Again offers a wider variety of sounds than that of the later release. Alongside uptempo numbers that include Version (the only track without a vocal), Shiny Star, and Crazy Love, there are slower tracks such as Confusion, a slow, moody, synth track and One Night In Tokyo which is heavy on the reggae influences (think Thievery Corporation). More contrast is shown on This River which has a melodic quality to it that makes you feel like it should have been included on a movie soundtrack. Where features a heavy guitar bass line and breathy male vocals and it's this sound that dominates the second release, Heat.
Heat opens with Wrong Baby, a track that's heavily influenced by Joy Division's She's Lost Control with a heavy guitar bass line and breathy male vocals. Losing Myself, Downtown, and To The Music also use this sound and all feature in the first half of the album.
We get a change of pace with Tonight, a slinky number with bluesy guitars, keyboards, and that trademark breathy vocal. Burn Out is another track that offers variety with a slow tech-house sound not unfamiliar to some of Air's earlier works and it provides a nice closing to the album.
The music of Colder is sophisticated, and as with many other of today's electronic artists, full of nods to those that have come before and provided the influence and inspiration.
For differing reasons I love both of these albums and they make a great addition to any collection, whether you're a Francophile or not. But without a release in almost four years the fate of Colder is unclear, but as an influential artist we hope to hear from him again soon.
Colder's Again and Heat are available via iTunes or at independent record stores nationwide.