Animal Trainer – Wide
Label: Stil Vor TalentScore: 8/10
Animal Trainer have long been considered fine proponents of house in its many forms, and nowhere is there a better domain under which to fine-tune and hone in on your sound than the album format. As such, the Hive Audio pairing step up to the plate here courtesy of their new one on Stil Vor Talent, with the wonderful Wide LP a gorgeous and often stunning insight into this dynamic duo’s way of working.
Full of chilled-out timbres and up-tempo cuts alike, Wide is also an album in the best sense of the word in that it’s eclectic enought to keep us on our toes during the duration of its 13 tracks. So, while the guys might be best known for producing intricate tech-house, Wide shows the subtleties that course through their productions, with everything from pop pastiches (”How Does it Feel” ft. Natasha Waters) to dizzying, melodic house (”Wide” ft. Jimi Jules). In between these moments we’re treated to various surprises, and the level t which this is all woven together doesn’t escape our minds and ears.
The aforementioned two tracks are two of siz neat collaborations on the album, the other notable ones being the pitched-back, almost Balearic strands of ”Keep Control”, a sun-sprayed effort that sees the guys team up with vocalist Jan Blomqvist for an energetic, sultry number which plays out like an ode-of-sorts to Chris Rea’s ”On The Beach”. Culminating track ”My Town (ft.Otoridia)” manipulates some gyspy-like accordion sounds, and it’s all very . . . different, really.
Anyway, all this aside, there are numerous other gems to soak up, not least my own picks, ”Krambmbuli” and ”Crashed Tuesday”. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for an album that’s meticulously crafted and is a far cry from the predictable LPs covering over the same terrain, then Wide might just be the one for you.