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Romain Collin: Tiny Lights...

Jerome Wilson By

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Romain Collin is a young pianist whose previous recordings have shown an affinity for electronic textures and minimalism. This release expands on those ideas. It adds rock energy and hip hop beats to create a buzzing, mechanized universe of sound where Collin's piano is often the most human element on display.

The set begins with "Overflow" where layers of quick drum beats, bright piano notes and winding electric guitar mesh together to create a glossy, optimistic feeling. "There Will Be Blood"'s contrast between Obed Calvaire's pulsing drum beats and Matthew Stevens' hammering guitar and Collin's slow, resonating piano figures creates a feeling of ominous urgency that continues through the faster tempo and naggingly repetitive melody of "Follow."

On "Dark Matter" Collin's piano breaks away from the electronic backgrounds to trace out a slow, formal melody enlarged to grand proportions by the swelling strings of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. He begins "Gold" with even more delicate piano phrases. Then Stevens comes in, enhancing Collin's line with subtle acoustic guitar before moving to a crunching electric sound over Calvaire's galloping beats. Finally the piece switches into heavier rock mode with the guitar and drums hammering a dense backdrop to Collin's defiantly light acoustic figures.

Collin's piano continues to be a bright human sound cutting through swirling electric mixtures on the next couple of tracks. He plays against flinty guitar, unidentified whistling and crisp drum beats on "Los Angeles" and a forest of swarming electronic loops and distorted vocal sounds on "Tiny Lights." "Red Snow" is a romantic piano melody given body and force by Stevens' acoustic coloring and Calvaire's beats, while "Repeat And Fade" ends the CD on a quiet note of Erik Satie-like piano repetition that is infiltrated and eventually overwhelmed by the Prague Philharmonic.

This music is a lyrical combination of calm and energy. It feels like Radiohead at their most chilled or E.S.T. with electric guitars added. It crosses several genres and gives off vibes of beauty and persistent unease. It's an interesting listen.

Track Listing: Overflow; There Will Be Blood; Follow; Dark Matter; Gold; Los Angeles; Tiny Lights That Move and Speak; Reprise; Red Snow; Repeat and Fade.

Personnel: Romain Collin: piano, Moog Taurus, vocal effects; Matthew Stevens: electric guitar; Obed Calvaire: acoustic and electric drums; Kazuma Jinnouchi: string arrangements; The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (4, 10).

Title: Tiny Lights... | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Revive Music Group

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