The Irish duo Solar Bears crafted the trancey electronic dance music of the
EP Inner Sunshine (Planet Mu, 2010) and the full length She Was Coloured In (Planet Mu, 2010)
The album has many egos. The dance ego is well represented by the
somewhat menacing instrumental Forest Of Fountains, by the
gentle singsong of Children Of The Times over a mellow funk beat (the rare vocal track), and by the psychological disco-music of The Quiet Planet.
The standout, Neon Colony, conceals a mildly anthemic and quasi-liturgical hymn.
However, Twin Stars is more atmospheric (as in a Morricone soundtrack)
than danceable (with a coda of minimalist repetition and interference), and
the fluttering guitar melody of She Was Coloured In harks back
to instrumental rock of the 1960s.
The sparkling psychedelic vignette Crystalline (Be Again) evokes
Brian Eno's early songs and the angelic
flute tune of Cub borders on new-age music. Even stranger is
Primary Colours At The Back Of My Mind at the confluence of
funk guitar and exotic synth.
The fusion of dance, pop, new age and ambient elements yields the complex
simplicity of Dolls.
The painstakingly assembled arrangements make up for the relatively trivial
melodies, but, in general, there isn't enough depth to sustain interest.
This is highly intelligent background muzak, but, ultimately, just background
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