Easily Embarrassed – Tales of the Coin Spinner
“…it is a mood album designed for a specific setting, namely one where the keepers of the space-time continuum have stepped out for a spot of lunch…”
Like many young men, there was a time in my life when I dabbled in a little trance. While Tales of the Coin Spinner is by no means of the ‘hands in the air’ dance floor variety, elements of the sound do transport me back to those days. The album is comparable to the work of Infected Mushroom, albeit much more laid back, almost cross-bred with Massive Attack‘s later stuff. At it’s core it is an ambient psychedelic album, as chilled as a penguin’s beak, yet deeply introspective and confrontational with the imagery it produces. One readily becomes submerged and enchanted. It is deeply relaxing whilst being active enough in the fine detail to captivate the interest throughout.
Truth told, the instrumental line-up is pretty vast here. Plenty of synthesis rocking our world, flickers of Spanish style acoustic Guitar in spots, chimes and other unidentifiable crying objects chirp away atop a bed of seriously complex drum patterns. Extraordinary attention has been paid to detail as the tunes have been crafted, so for the production values alone, Easily Embarrassed need to be taken seriously. While the album will not be everyone’s cup of tea in stylistic terms, a second listen quickly proves very rewarding even for the sceptical, and one is quickly drawn closer towards this mysterious beast.
There are subtle background textures everywhere, drifting in and out. Snippets of heavily decimated speech and breathing, that are so ambiguous as to conjure up differing scenes in the listener’s third eye upon each play. Touches like this, simply bring us elsewhere. It’s reminiscent of that familiar combination of Psilocybin and Nitrous Oxide, with a sly ‘tip of the hat’ to those in the know. The dreamlike suspension continues all the way through in the style of a magic carpet ride. Sweltering Acid Bass lines keep us grounded, as the fireworks keep coming.
When it comes to finding fault, there are just two real stumbling blocks, and to be honest both come with the territory. Firstly, it’s a rather subjective form of music, and only those familiar with the scene, or open minded newcomers are likely to give the record a fair trial. But that’s a condition suffered across a vast array of the musical spectrum outside of the conventional, so no harm. Next, setting the couple of more upbeat, lively numbers aside, there’s not a whole lot of variation in tone from one track to the next here. However that said, it is a mood album designed for a specific setting, namely one where the keepers of the space time continuum have stepped out for a spot of lunch. Thus we forgive all such transgressions.
Drop-d Rating: 7/10
For Fans Of: Infected Mushroom, Massive Attack
Key Tracks: Sylphesizer, The Old Ways, Moon People