Secret Cinema ‘Minerals’

Secret Cinema / Minerals

CD / Digital

Gem Records / Released May 23rd 2011


What does it sound like?

For the most part this is exactly what you might expect from Gem Records’ first long-player, it being the imprint established by Jeroen Verheij around a year and a half ago. Better known under monikers like Grooveyard, Meng Syndicate and, of course, Secret Cinema, he’s been a key Dutch export in the eyes of techno heads for the best part of two decades, melding an electro slant with big beats and mainroom accents. This excursion is, for the most part, a blend of associated styles, save for Interlude- Passage, and closer Ruby F.M., both of which are futurist ambient arrangements that edge towards classical.

The perfect precursor to the bonus disc then; a nice little addition that takes the form of a collaboration with Mental Youth, A.K.A. Dirk-Jan Hanegraaff and Robert Kroos. In contrast this is all about pure ambience, and does a good job creating opiate soundscapes guaranteed to make you forget most of the first instalment. Overall then, both sides of the coin are present and correct, with the production accomplished enough to ensure kids and those who should have learnt by now will all find something worth getting stuck into here.

Where would I dance to it?

Disc One invokes a plethora of solid, headline DJs in full swing, switching from power synths to atmospheric basslines, and as such could well soundtrack festivals and clubs the world over. As for the beatless compositions, the words Valium and dream best explain why movement will not be the first thing on your mind.

What highlights can I expect to hear?

In terms of dancefloor fodder, Calcite Night‘s pounding prog kicks and flying hi-hats, married with manic Wurlitzer stabs, takes some beating once it launches into full-on attack mode. Then again, the wet and hard style low end of Smoky Quartz rolls along with all the grace of a juggernaut, nodding to early Timo Maas, Marco Carola and the like, stealing some of the thunder back. But those looking for something truly epic can skip straight to Topaz featuring Egbert, a heads down, percussive slugger that breaks down into horns and white noise, before throwing relentless rhythms back into the mix.

So far as the horizontal fare goes it’s more difficult to analyse. Created using some of the basic sounds that went into the productions on the preceding 12, these five tracks are more like a moody, almost eerie but also uplifting movie score. Part 1: Forming sounds like you’re either walking through a graveyard under moonlight, or exploring some lunar landscape. Whereas Part 2: Mining could well be the hum of distant industry. Take from that what you will, just believe us when we say it’s all well worked.

Why should I pay for it?

A lovely double disc package like this deserves to be bought.

Where can I buy it?

Juno, Music Stack, Amazon.