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September 17, 2014
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Life & Culture

Review: ‘Shelter’ suffers from monotonous musicality

Moire

"Shelter"

It’s a rumbling wave of bass, gloomy and foreboding, that opens the anonymous, London-based producer Moire’s newest release, “Shelter.” This droning welcome sets the tone for the rest of the album: an entrancing, electronic venture that throws listeners into an eerie realm of murky ambience and dark industrial beats. However, despite the artist’s penchant for crafting engaging dusky soundscapes, these songs quickly blur together. Ultimately, each song’s nuances are lost to monotony, putting a damper on the album as a whole.

There’s a certain stylistic fluidity in “Shelter” — Moire’s enigmatic sampling of vocals and percussion takes cues from a bevy of electronic genres, resulting in a body of work that is not easily grouped into a single genre. An example of this dynamic is album-opener, “Attitude,” a hazy sea of vocal samples and percussion, which differs greatly from the bouncing dance beats of tracks “Dali House” and “Infinity Shadow.” This variety keeps “Shelter” riding the line between dance and ambience, and it provides some needed freshness to the album.

However, that’s not to say the album lacks cohesion. Despite each song’s differences, each track still boasts a dark, brooding, low end that is pervasive throughout the album. Unfortunately, rather than adding unity to the album, all these similar sounds tend to merge together resulting in tracks that feel repetitive, muddy and outright boring. Notably guilty of this are fifth and sixth tracks “No Gravity” and “Stars,” with their tempos and structures inevitably sounding far too similar to each other.

Thankfully, finishing tracks “Rings” and “Mr Figure” break from this pattern and provide the album with a decently solid finale, though listeners may find themselves wondering if more could have been done to make “Shelter” a more satisfying musical experience.

For those looking for a dark musical jaunt with some danceable vibes, “Shelter” may deliver the goods. But for many listeners, the repetitive nature may cause the shadowy album to feel uninspired rather than darkly satisfying.