TIN FOIL STAR
MORT AUX VACHES
ALBUM STAALPLAAT RELEASE: JULY, 1999 REVIEW: OCTOBER 10, 1999
Like so many other, the singer/songwriter genre tends to be ridiculously
conservative. People like last year's so praised Elliot Smith makes it feel
that not much has happened for the past couple of decades. It's a shame,
since tradition isn't worth much unless it's coupled with some sort of will
to look forward.
This makes Tin Foil Star feel like a relief. The brainchild of the Belgian
Arne van Petegem, the band has previously released a couple of seven and
twelve inches on small labels, but has now made its CD debut with this limited
edition release of 600 copies in Staalplaat's "Mort Aux Vaches" series. Tin
Foil Star combines a conventional singer/songwriter approach with
minimalistic electronics. It's touching, sad songs placed in a musical
environment consisting of electronic drones, swirling analogue synths and
penetrating organs. The opening track "Ruins" has an atmosphere so heavy and
dense that it makes Tricky's Nearly God project sound like a party. The
rest is slightly lighter, but both emotionally charged, inventive and really
great. Especially the moving "World of Sand", which is coupled with a cover
of Nick Drake's "Know".
I could have done without the eight minute dub version of "Ruins", but the
rest of this album is as beautiful as a sunny, frosty February morning.