A2 The Story About You
B1 Neither One
C1 Raw Like 97
C2 I Wanna
Moomin is a regular of Smallville, another Hamburg imprint, yet his minimal compositions are a far cry from Roberts’ lush orchestral style. The Story About You is an exercise in subtlety and poise, eking warmth from relatively spare compositions, offering a compelling example of deep house at its most hypnotic. The album is a pensive listen; stripped drumwork underpinning simple melodies that shift and evolve subtly over time. No breakdowns, drops or drama: Moomin’s music is about the unhurried evocation of feeling, which tastes all the richer for its slow gestation.
There’s a softness to the tracks on Moomin’s debut which is wonderfully inviting, as suitable on a snowy walk as on a sun-drenched beach. These tracks cocoon and comfort the listener – indeed, opener Doobiest beckons the listener to relaxation with the sounds of waves and gulls. Yet the mesmerising, repetitive quality of this music isn’t the result of a shortage of ideas or a desire to craft a ‘chill-out’ album. The short melodies which Moomin loops are expertly chosen, backed by a surprisingly detailed percussive field which rewards careful listening. The emotions here are carefully evoked and hard-won, in the mournful humming that rises above the title track’s languid keys, or with the perfect horn that calls out melancholically into Valentine’s heartache slow jam.
Moomin’s sound isn’t all eyes-down gloom either; some of the LP’s strongest moments are its more vigorous tracks. I Wanna’s wandering bassline adds punch to the composition’s subtle chimes, while the bone-dry percussion of highlight Watermelon threatens to punch through the speakers. What stays with the listener after The Story About You is Moomin’s unerring ability to eke so much emotional effect from largely unchanging melodics; his razor-sharp knack for picking the perfect loop. As you sink back into these tunes, your brain becomes attuned to the most minute shifts and tears in the sonic fabric, rendering each fractional alteration a near-eureka moment.
Want more? Moomin’s steady steam of ace singles on Smallville and his own Closer imprint offer more of his distinct style of inviting, melancholic house.