Purveyors of slinky synth-house, Cinnamon Chasers still seem to be relatively unknown but, on the run up to their debut album, their latest EP is a good introduction to their material. Science Remixes may be packaged as a remix collection but actually consisting of a number of originals too.
We're in the realm of warm house music here - not overly banging nor is it particularly likely to appeal to the more crusty of house fans, Cinnamon Chasers are fairly straight up. At their best they recall GusGus' less techno, more house influenced efforts. This is particularly true of opener 'Tattoo' and its accompanying 'Retro 909 Version', which (surprisingly) adds some 909s and a bit of an acid edge to things. 'Tattoo' is minimal and laid back - too laid back for a peak time set but just perfect for some beach time or sunset chilling and frankly that's just fine with me. The noodling melody of the synth line is lush and combines particularly well with the 909 version's drum roll.
'Smooth Station' is a little, dare I say it, cheesier. The original version is a little Royksopp, which is all well and good but the vocal (already pushed to the back of the mix) really adds little. The 'Deep Electric Version' moves things in a bit more of a trance direction and throws in some BT-esque stutter-edits but it's all a bit insipid to leave any lasting mark.
Whilst 'One Million Balloons' treads a similar path its accompanying remix is definitely an improvement, stripping the vocal back and pushing the dubby electronics to the foreground. Final track 'Magic Lover' is a bizarre one - a slightly ska feeling number which again benefits from a remix in the form of the 'Deep Electric Version'.
Science Remixes Part 1 has its moments but ultimately falls short of hitting the mark. 'Tattoo' shows that Cinnamon Chasers, or Russ Davies to use his real name, can make great tracks but the rest of the selection here seems to see him falling between the gap between pop-crossover material and a more serious electronic sound. The quoted sources of inspiration (Moroder, Vangelis, Jean Michael-Jarre) may be admirable but in the wrong hands they have a tendency to whiff a bit. If they are going to succeed Cinnamon Chasers just might need to choose which way they want to jump: does Davies want a commercial or a critical hit?
Science Remixes Part 1 is out now on Modus Records, available on MP3 from Amazon.co.uk [affiliate link].