Friday, 2 April 2010

2003 Tomcraft: Loneliness

I have to confess, I'm always slightly uneasy when presented with any one-off dance/house type single. Not only am I not, by any means, an expert on the genre, I in any case very often feel like I'm being asked to comment on a solitary piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Depending on the size of the piece I'm given or the depth of detail on it then I might be able to say something about a notable line, a prominent feature or a striking colour combination, but in order to fully appreciate it in the round I'd have to see how the part fits into the whole. If you see what I mean. In the same way, I think House singles too can be difficult to take in isolation. As part of a three hour DJ set then any particular tune can act as a key bridge or link to bring the crowd to the boil or to cool them back down with an effect that lessens when the piece is considered on its own. Agreed, a lot of this stuff can be taken and enjoyed on their own merits, but I'm always conscious that context can be everything.

Take 'Loneliness' for example. By itself I can say it's a House track driven by a space filling, ominous trance throb and female vocal of wide eyed paranoia ("Happiness seems to be loneliness") that burrows further and further under the skin with its repetition, of which there are many. I'm guessing that this would be description enough for many to decide if it's worth the wear or not; after all, House music is not for everybody. But is this being fair I wonder? For my own part, I can take 'Loneliness' as a stand alone track at a pinch, but it's crying out to be bookended by tracks complimentary to give it purpose and context the way an arm needs a hand and a shoulder to do the same. If you see what I mean. Again.*

* Interestingly, 'Loneliness' appears on 'Now That's What I Call Music Volume 55' where the compilers have wisely lumped it in between fellow dance tracks 'Husan' (Bhangra Knights vs Husan) and 'Hot In Here' (Tiga featuring Jake Shears). The join is ragged but bearable, more chicken wing than dovetail, but try listening to it in-between other tracks on the compilation like Ronan Keating's 'The Long Goodbye' and Coldplay's 'God Put A Smile On Your Face' - it feels like driving a car from smooth road and suddenly onto a mile long cattle grid that you didn't see coming. As I said, context is everything.

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