Silicone Soul: Silicone Soul

Following upon the Soma Records releases A Soul Thing (2000), Staring Into Space (2005), and Save Our Souls (2006), Silicone Soul's fourth, self-titled album suggests that electronic producers and DJs Craig Morrison and Graeme Reedie are just as interested in creating dance songs as they are tracks. While the album boasts a goodly share of clubby house cuts (e.g., acid-house raver “Midnite Man”), many of its pieces reveal an attention to song structure and narrative arc that suggests kinship with Booka Shade.

Sonically, too, there are moments when Silicone Soul's album invites the comparison. When that Motown-styled bass line kicks in half thirty seconds into “Koko's Song,” one is instantly reminded of Booka Shade, and the track—its title a dedication to a deceased fan—is also boosted by a strong electric guitar-fueled G-man vibe. A similar predilection for tasty bass lines emerges elsewhere, such as in the spacey “Hurt People Hurt People,” while other cuts find the duo dressing up their spacey house material with voice samples. A live snare sound and tremolo guitar shadings lend “David Vincent's Blues” a raw and earthy quality, despite the fact that the song's title references the lead character in the ‘60s sci-fi program The Invaders (as does the sampled voiceover). In contrast to that track's comparatively natural feel, others keep their sights set firmly on the dance floor, including “Dust Ballad II,” a dreamy club groover whose tight house pulse Morrison and Reedie swathe in synthetic waves, and “Language of the Soul,” a gliding house stepper that struts buoyantly while a harmonica-like melody sighs wistfully in the distance. Memorable too is “Call of the Dub” which complements its conga-tinged house pulse with a brightly chirping melody, squelched electronic flourishes, and a train whistle.

Admittedly, Silicone Soul isn't, melodically speaking, at the level of Movements but it's definitely pointing in a similar direction. It's easy to imagine that Silicone Soul's music could inch even closer to that ideal if the focus were to shift from atmosphere to melody to an even greater degree.

August 2009