Colder Heat

Parisian graphic designer/filmmaker/musician Marc Nguyen turned quite a few heads in 2003 with his debut album for Trevor Jackson’s hipper-than-thou Output label. Again was a dark and hypnotic underworld of down-tempo, Krautrock and mystifyingly droning electro-pop that made Suicide sound like the Get Along Gang. Heat provides more of Nguyen’s morosely slick beatscapes, but he’s taken his mood music to another level this time with a little more variety in his game. "Tonight” tries out a subtle reggae guitar riff and complements it with an unbroken pulse and some appropriately placed phaser bleeps. With its firm backbeat and unassuming hook, "To the Music” flows to a dynamic bass line that arguably makes it his finest moment to date. "Fade Away,” however, proves to be the uncharacteristic standout, as Nguyen digs deep for some emotional rescue with a dejected Arab Strap electro beat and a mellow Bad Seeds arrangement enlisted to save his soul. Unfortunately he’s opted not to include a bonus DVD like the last time, but with music this gloriously desolate and mesmeric we can let it slide just this once. (Output)