Annie and the Station Orchestra - Bingo Halls

11 songs
45:10 minutes
***** ***


Earlier this year, the music of Annie and the Station Orchestra could already be discovered on their split-EP with Japanese artist Ippu Mitsui. Now Chas "Annie" Kinnis is back with his debut longplayer Bingo Halls. The Irish musician who is currently based in Glasgow, Scotland is not really a band leader but performs all of the instruments himself, oscillating between experimentalism and playful electronica, fortunately the latter outweighing the former in order to allow the eleven tracks to unfold a peculiar charm.

The album starts with Time, a song which was already featured on this yearís EP. This six-minute track gives a good glimpse of what Annie and the Station Orchestra is all about. There is drama, there is whimsy, the melodies are infectious despite the sometimes grating sounds, giving the music a feeling as if an orchestra of automatons were playing a symphony. The quaint, playful sounds at times remind me of Pascal Comeladeís toy orchestras, except that Annie has a more electronic approach. The following King Of The Idiots may start slowly but it uses its six and a half minutes quite well to build suspense. At times the music sounds like a soundtrack for a strange movie out of this world. Maybe thatís because there are no vocals, except on Here Come The Bears where Japanese vocalist Asuka Tanaka is adding her ghostly, ethereal voice.

At times it is hard to see through the artistís music. It seems that most of the music is electronic, although there are also moments of analogue instruments peering through, giving it all a very electro-acoustic feeling that feels warm and bizarre at the same time. You might need to listen to the album a couple of times before you finally submerge in the musicís weird and wonderful atmosphere. So not an instant pleaser, but your patience will be ultimately rewarded. Bingo Halls continues where the split-EP had left the listener waiting for more. This may be a very underground record, but fans of Dan Deacon, Max Tundra and child-proof Fuck Buttons will be happy to learn that there is still strangely moving electronic music to be discovered

Back to Reviews