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  • Filed under: Review
  • 07/07/2011

Tensnake "Something About You"

The past, it's a bitch. Successful artists of all stripes have always had a problem following previous achievements. Now, it seems as though Marco Niemerski (a.k.a. Tensnake) has found himself in just such a conundrum by having to live up to the success of his 2010 smash "Coma Cat"—a pretty tall order considering the popularity of that record. Nevertheless, his just-dropped "Something About You" strives to best that previous effort, albeit with varying results. Utilizing a similar strategy of playful appropriation, Niemerski turns his eye away from the mid-'80s, garage-meets-freestyle sound of "Coma Cat" and towards various stripes of early European house music: Italo house, piano house, UK rave, and Belgian new beat.

Starting with an orchestral hit, "Something About You" rolls into focus on a bassline similar to that of Steve Hurley's "Jack Your Body." Over this rhythm, he layers sudden detuned samples and constructs a groove that wouldn't sound out of place in a Junior Vasquez mix from 1993. Eventually dropping away from this, the song goes into a breakdown, loses its original idea, and comes out the other side with a generic piano-house riff complemented by a breathy singer repeating, "Something about you baby/something about your lovin'." It's not terrible, but it's not exactly innovative either, particularly given the current prevelance of pianos in post-nu-disco-house music.

Fortunately, the single does have its saving graces. While the original track isn't a huge departure, the "Jas Shaw Alt. Mix" executes an interesting concept via the lost art of Belgian new beat. Dropping the tempo down a rather noticeable six beats per minute, Jas Shaw's mix is the equivalent to playing "Something About You" at minus eight on a turntable. The track chugs along, complete with a new pitch and some freaky disharmonious effects on the vocals. Somewhere along the way, the slow tempo and bizarre pitch sets the remix apart to stand on its own as an interesting experiment that will probably rock its share of early-morning dancefloors.

Rounding out the package is the complete and welcome departure of Italo-disco b-side "You Know I Know It," which bounces along with live bass, Chic guitar, shimmering synth arpeggios, and disco string hits. With a paranoid and rapid-fire female vocal hook, the song maintains the best qualities of New Wave Italo tracks like Bagarre's "Lemonsweet."

All told, "Something About You" is a pretty good record. While the titular single isn't Tensnake's best work, the novelty of Jas Shaw's version coupled with the Italo funkiness of "You Know I Know It" helps to maintain the overall consistency of the release to reveal a solid effort.

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