Album Review : Tensnake | In the House + MP3


house \haus \ n + chill•out \ chil-aût \ vb

A lot of people have told me they don’t like Tensnake. This surprises me. I have original cuts and remixes of his that stretch back to ’08, long before “Coma Cat” ushered him into the collective consciousness of the dance community. He has a knack for existing in the retro world of disco and boogie, the European cosmic disco scene and, with this release for Defected, in the greater contemporary house world. That’s no small feat at a time when one out of five new artists somehow manage to create a new subgenre of electronic music and inspire a legion of imitators. It’s also noteworthy when you consider how insular the house music scene is. If you don’t fit its idea of house, well, you’re just not welcome, end of story. A double disc release for Defected clearly signals that Tensnake has made it into the inner circle.

It also signifies a shift in tastes. The cosmic disco ramblings of Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, the Permanent Vacation label and other such left-field boogie outlets was not immediately accepted in house world. In Chicago at least, a lot of the nudisco DJs were doing parties of their own, and you weren’t seeing the same heads out for say, Bottin or Andy Butler as you were for Derrick Carter or Osunlade. Tomorrow night at Smart Bar, Tensnake is sharing the bill with the godfather of house music, Frankie Knuckles, which means that is all about to change (well, it’s already started trending that way).

This is incredibly exciting news. And when you take into account the breadth of the track selection across Tensnake’s two discs, it is even more so. Carol Williams sits next to Al Usher; Kathy Diamond leads the way to Michael Mayer and the Chemical Brothers; and that’s just the first disc. The second kicks off with abstract dubsteppers Mount Kimbie before moving on to Osunlade, Louie Guzman and Heaven and Earth (the original version of “Prescription Every Night,” not the Running Back edit from earlier this year). The fact that both Guzman’s track and Tensnake’s “Coma Cat” appear on Friendly Fires’ Suck My Deck mix is further evidence that the walls of the dance music scene are crumbling and welcoming people of all stripes. If Tensnake is the chosen one to lead all these varied factions of dance music together into one big, communal dance party, I’m willing to throw my hand up and follow him. Lead on piper, lead on.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

DOWNLOAD: Tensnake Mini-mix (128 mp3)

Tensnake and Frankie Knuckles co-headline Smart Bar Chicago tomorrow night, Wed 24.

Here's the Tensnake "Coma Cat" music video for your viewing pleasure (FYI: it features lots of girls in their underwear, that cheeky bastard!):


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