And so our top 10 becomes a top 11 again…
Pete Baran: There was a nice period where songs with Cat in the title referred to some over-processed howl coming from a synthesiser. There was another time when the word referred to the player, or member of the jazz audience, beard scratching and nodding along. There was also a time when Coma would pop up in song titles to indicate the track would be the trippier kind of hop. “Coma Cat” is none of these things, and yet all of these connotations could apply. There are over-processed synth effects, and it is an awful lot slower than I thought it would be. Even the synth-vibes on it suggest someone has listened to jazz somewhere. Lord knows what they were trying to do with it, but OK, it does sound exactly how a track called “Coma Cat” SHOULD sound. Though nothing like what I thought a band called Tensnake would sound.
Martin Skidmore: He’s a German producer, and I am impressed by what sounds like deep electrohouse leavened by wails and bells and the occasional hint of old house riffing: the combination of serious moodiness and party brightness is very winning. I would imagine it leans rather too far towards the restrained end of the scale for any real crossover success, but I really like it.
Chuck Eddy: As electronica (though possibly not whatever-particular-kind-of-electronica-this-is-supposed-to-be) goes, quite funky. Okay, last.fm: “Tensnake is a Hamburg based producer…His music is deeply influenced by the early 80’s Boogie and Italo Disco sound.” Which explains why I’d kind of like this. Though I like Italo Disco, not to mention the early ’80s post-disco R&B now retroactively called “boogie” by nincompoops, a whole lot more.
Martin Kavka: Now getting a re-release on Defected some nine months after its first release, “Coma Cat” takes a Jellybean Benitez hook (from Anthony And The Camp’s “What I Like”) and polishes it to the brightness of a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture. And even when the hook is gone, the track can dissipate emotional fogs. I have little idea how a simple piano line made of nothing but seven whole notes, lasting from 3:04-3:14, can feel so great.
Michaelangelo Matos: Is this starting to make its way past clubs now? Interesting if it is. Either way, it’s a lively, bubbling track, very Fun House NYC circa ’84, like a glossier version of something on The Perfect Beats compilations. It gets the feel, not just the sound, of that period down nicely.
John Seroff: “Coma Cat” does a lot right. It’s perfectly timed: about two minutes to get in, four minutes of peak and one minute of denouement. It’s brilliantly balanced; every element strikes exactly when it should, every track retreats just before it snags. It’s retro house without the cribbing, fun but not mindless, crazy energy minus hyperventilation cocaine highs. It’s not the best song I’ve heard this year but it’s so ozone fresh and clean, so palate and sinus clearing that it sweeps me up in the belief that it’s the first song I’ve really heard this year.
Mark Sinker: The lyric is a choked-off enquiry — half of a question we don’t know the finish of — and the sound is a large half-dark empty warehouse, with daylight streaming in, gleamingly techno-clean for later all-hours rave purpose… but you’ve no idea how it will seem when night comes and people arrive, or who they’ll be, and how this will sound then. Add or subtract 2 from score according to achieved communal mood.