Minus 8

Minuit

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It's fitting that the cover to Minuit, the second Minus 8 album released by Compost, pictures a cozy chair overlooking a nighttime metropolis. On this release, producer Robert Jan Meyer offers music that is undoubtedly nocturnal and urban yet much more intended for casual chilling than heated dancing. His past recordings had quite a bit of jazziness to them, particularly with their abundant use of live instruments, yet the Swiss producer embraces jazz to an even further extent on Minuit. And not strictly the instruments associated with jazz, but also the vocal style. Nearly every song on this album features a vocalist accentuating the music, perhaps a conscious effort on Meyer's part to duplicate the success of "Snowblind" and "Badman & Throbin'," two songs from his previous album, Elysian Fields, that became sizable hits. Those two excellent songs thankfully appear here in remixed form, and several songs follow a similar approach, namely "Theia" and "Runaway," two other excellent songs. In addition to the heavy emphasis on vocals, Minuit also boasts a tranquil mood. Even with the thick rhythms, this isn't music you dance to but rather music you either relax or socialize to. The basslines and beats are there for sure yet are subtly buried beneath organs, flutes, guitars, pianos, and sultry vocals. Toward the album's conclusion, Meyer slows down the tempo a bit with laid-back songs like "Sometimes" and "Bossanova Feelin'" before finishing with "A Concha Cor de Rosa," a staggering drum'n'bass song that reminds you just how far he's come as a producer over the years. Just like every previous Minus 8 album, you're left wondering where Meyer, never one to remain still, goes from here.

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