Being billed as ‘Ireland’s answer to Röyksopp, Trentemøller and Booka Shade’, by your happy friendly record company, may be a bit of a heavy burden to bear. In spite of this blatantly over-the-top ballyhoo, Corrugated Tunnel has crafted a fascinatingly melodic and moody album in ‘Minor Obsessions’, building nicely upon previous releases, ‘We Are Electronix’ and 2008’s ‘I Am Corrugated’.
Stomping, ambient, acidy; a brilliant opener that misleads in its tone, opens proceedings. Deborah Kay’s shimmering vocals knit in amongst the 303-ish bassline and scattered drums on ‘Cabin Fever’.
Downtempo ‘Threadbare’ has Bristol written all over it, with its broody vocals and lush strings, as does ‘Keep the Change’, with superb Spanish guitars and washing synths.
‘Remedy for the soul’ sounds like a Human League B-side, with Antoinette Dunleavy’s vocals (and lyrics) very reminiscent of a certain Scandinavian purveyor of dance-pop. All is forgiven however, as ‘ Shine On’ and ‘The Rejection’ spin and I’m back in Henrys, watching the sweat drip from the ceiling into my bottle of Carling XL. Deeply satisfying house cuts both. Man, I wish I was 18 again . . .
A big reason why I keep scrolling back to this album seems to be the nostalgia factor. Whether it’s the 80s vibes, the 90s Orbital-esque synths (see majestic closer ‘Transist’ ), or the throbbing house and techno beats; all of the tracks remind me of something that’ s been done before. I’ m not calling it derivative – but there’s nothing groundbreaking here. Is it throwback? Or fashionably retro? Who gives a fuck – it’s a quality Irish electronic album from a prolific Irish producer. Enjoy it.