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21 March, 2014@4:51 am

Tensnake is the alias of German DJ/producer, Marco Niemerski, most famously known for his 2010 track “Coma Cat”. A student of many varieties of music, with his 2014 debut album, Glow, Tensnake somehow, subly manages to weave them together, in a cohesive, genre defying debut, that fires on all cylinders.

If you had to place Glow in any kind of box, one might say that ultimately it’s rooted in deep house music, but it hardly sticks to that script throughout its surprisingly solid 17 tracks. One might assume from its sultry, cheeky lead single, “58 BPM” or its opening track, “First Song” (feat. MNEK), that this would be a chilled out affair, but the album goes in many different directions. Channeling 80′s pop on “Love Sublime” (feat. Nile Rodgers and Fiora) and “Pressure”, there are moments that almost feel like the dated, cheesy songs you hear at the dentist office, but for the most part, it works. The Prince ode, “Feel Of Love”, for instance, knocks it out of the park. But maybe “Selfish” is overkill.

Just when you think you’ve got it figured it out, Tensnake flips the script with a vibey instrumental tracks, like “Holla” and “No Colour”. But he is most in his element with his underground house cuts, many of which are driven by the voice of collaborator, Fiora, whose airy vocals help propel cuts like “See Right Through” and “Good Enough To Keep”. The latter also features the very distinctive guitar of Nile Rodgers, perhaps the same used on Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself To Dance”.

While Tensnake does waddle a bit in the 80′s cheese dip at times, for the most part Glow is an incredibly produced, varied, yet cohesive, and soulful release. Many times albums at this length are bloated and have too many tracks, yet Tensnake’s understated approach never feels like overkill. In a word, Glow shines.

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