Marc Houle – Sinister Mind LP

As a key artist on esteemed labels like M_nus and Innervisions, Marc Houle‘s subtly evolving sounds have won him plaudits from DJ’s and dancers alike. The mastermind behind label Items & Things, Houle has now launched into 2017 with a new album trilogy, the first of which, entitled ‘Sinister Mind’, is set to drop on 24th March. The triple release will showcase the many different sides of his productions, with this first LP reflecting the darker tendencies and tones of his sound.

As always, the tech maestro and gear addict utilities a wide range of hardware, from the MKS-70, to the juno-60, monopoly, 808 drum machine, 606 drums, and an eventide h8000 for the reverbs. Both he and his brother also play guitar on several of the nine tracks, and this most evocative long play starts off with ‘Don’t think of me’, a paranoid cut with chattery claps, brooding bass and foreboding vocals that is brilliantly unsettling. The title cut then settles into a mid-tempo techno groove as synths thunder in the background. It is a sparse and moody affair that speaks of desolate urban landscapes.

From there, ‘Maskatron’ builds the pressure with gurgling bass, alien percussive sounds and more unsettled grooves before ‘Loafers’ gets trippy with some modulating synths that burrow deep into your brain, and ‘Failure’ resets the mood with a super slow motion dark wave synth cut that has echoing vocals drifting off to the distance. The second half of the album marries the mechanical grooves and robotic melodies of ‘Bassorrific’ with the heavy and doom laden atmospheres of ‘Dark Tom.’

‘Conbular’ then comes over all spooky with tumbling drums and bleeping synths popping and spitting in loose limbed fashion. Last of all, ‘Paligama’ gets busy and goes directly for the dance floor, with bubbling rhythms, rubbery drums and dry hits. This is an album that marries sci-fi imagery with derelict metropolitan soundscapes. It is evocative and escapist and is a fantastic way to start off this trilogy, and it’s a journey that Marc himself is excited about, stating:

“After over 10 years of making music, I felt it was a good time to stop and assess my musical journey. I didn’t plan on a trilogy but I realized I had so much to say that limiting it to only 1 LP wouldn’t get the whole story across. ‘Sinister Mind’ reflects more the dark tendencies and tones of my sound”

Sinister Mind is out 24 March so make sure to check it out!


(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews.

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