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Snapshots #4 - Tornado, Donna, Tino

Snapshots #4

Tornado, Donna, Tino

Ever since hinah was created, we've been fortunate enough to receive demos and albums from people who feel close to our tastes. So much the better, as generally speaking we're very much taken with their music! The first on the list is Sammy Decoster and his project named Tornado. An amazing character who, at 20, declares that he's a Giant Sand fan. Yes, not Placebo or Radiohead, but that band led by Howe Gelb which usually attracts the 30-something crowd. And so we feel like taking him under our wings and making him listen to a few treasures he should love: early WGC, Norfolk & Western, Sarah White, Tara Jane O'Neil, Dakota Suite... His demo is made up of tracks that set off into many directions, but is that really so strange given his main influence? From Gelb and his companions, he's taken the nonchalance and a certain idea of folk wandering, and he's added to it a touch of pop and a warm, soft voice. Likewise, we are captivated by the delicate, warm ballads ("Oh Remember The Time," "I See My Heart Opening Your House," and "Afraid") and by the more lively tracks ("The Great Quiproquo" and "I Am The Pavement Of Your Way"). Donna is an entirely different story: we discovered their music with two tracks on a compilation made by a mailing list, and to us it was a genuine small shock. We often played these two tracks while relentlessly sinking into the most appropriate place to listen to music: our sofa. Harsh, rough lyrics, a music led by captivating loops: "Les Voyages" and "L'Hôpital" had fascinated and overwhelmed us. Since then, the band has sent us three cds and little by little, we've been able to approach their world, which navigates between an icy and violent vision (for instance the two tracks on the compilation and "Etre père") and schoolkids' jokes with a tendency toward depression and cynicism ("Bombe à neutrons" and "La Vie est vraiment trop lugubre"). What else can we say?... perhaps that their lyrics touch us and upset us, whereas it's precisely what usually annoys us with lyrics in French, and that we look forward to discovering Donna's future recordings as their minds are teeming with tons of projects -- for instance a 4-ep box set and a musical. Tino is the project of Vincent Seguret -- a philosophy professor who's taken a one-year sabbatical to devote himself to music -- and it doesn't go for joviality either. On the two albums he sent us, "Honour And Discrace" and "Tenderness And Lust," the atmosphere is dark, and his voice is deep. The music, which reminds us of Scotland's depressed Arab Strap and the warm coldness of Italy's La Nuit Américaine, navigates between arid, torn folk and a minimalist electronica stamped with early 80s goth. One small  shortcoming though: his English accent sounds a little too Frenchy -- but Vincent swore he'd put it right soon!

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