Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Âme - Setsa / Ensor
Âme, the duo of Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann, are best-known for their oft-licensed mega-hit "Rej," a track whose shiveringly clean lines marked a meeting point of trance and minimal. Four years on, and it seems like everything—and nothing—has changed. Âme have noticeably slowed their output since then, no doubt able to afford the luxury of strict quality control in the wake of having one of the biggest hits of the '00s behind them. And, as such, each record feels more like an event than anything else.
"Setsa," on first listen, isn't worth the billing. Unlike "Rej," it's ungainly, full of awkward sounds that don't quite make sense immediately, but like all great songs it comes together in the final analysis, an unlikely club hit composed of squawking strings, gaggles of geese and angelic choirs. It's got an almost industrial pomp to it, a far cry from the natural technoid glide that undergirds its B-side counterpart "Ensor." That side rides along easily, amid the trumpets and trombones that threaten to derail it via long, gliding notes or the digital hiccups that subtly undercut the groove. But even with these off-message moments throughout, it's hard to deny that "Ensor" is self-consciously massive, a guaranteed club smasher. It may not be quite the smooth ride we were expecting, but it's an event nonetheless.