Published Feb 24, 2016Moomin returns with his distinctive analog grooves on A Minor Thought, his new album for Hamburg-based Smallville Records. Like its predecessor The Story About You, the sounds and samples here have a warm organic glow that will appeal to house fans who prefer a more vintage tone. Traditionalist approaches like this can sometimes yield unimaginative results, but though he sometimes treads close, Moomin escapes this pitfall.
Most of these tracks are built around a handful of tastefully chosen samples that coalesce as Moomin's beats ebb and flow beneath. Pianos twinkle, arpeggiated guitar chords entwine gracefully with ghostly horns and strings and the whole thing has a cultivated richness to it that comes off appealingly. Standout track "Woman to Woman" features a bouncing bass sample with string and piano flourishes that sound lifted from some 1950s ballroom dancing tutorial (perhaps it was). Later on, the slow-burning "Time To Reflect" — a pleasant late-album surprise — sounds like a more danceable DJ Shadow.
Each of the 11 here tracks deliver much the same mood however, and if one were to quibble, it might be to suggest that Moomin's beats strive so hard to be tasteful and inoffensive that they sometimes verge on blandness. That being said, if you love your house sepia-toned with plenty of TR808, Moomin's latest is for you. (Smallville)