SINGLE REVIEW: Scenius – ‘Chinese Room’


The sound of Scenius’ music fascinates me because it never seems to remain constant. It may come with a sound that stirs up post-punk electronica, electronic music of the 80s and pinches of other electronica music since then into something unique; but it’s the nuance of the sound that matters.

In ‘Chinese Room’ the duo produce a sound that combines Rave, a sound like early Human League, Ultravox, Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode into something that is off-kilter, jarring and unsettling. And here is the crucial thing about their music; it operates on an emotional level, it’s not just cold bleak electronica. Although the track may sound cold and emotionless on the surface, under the skin it has soul and emotion. Part of this may come from their use of retro instruments which come with ‘human feel’ but it’s the way their songs are put together that does the majority of the work. The sounds they use, the songwriting and their astounding ability to arrange their songs produces something that worms its way into your head, is compelling and compels you to dig deeper into the track.

‘Chinese Room’ is so totally compelling; it’s there in the musical richness that lies under the bleak surface, it’s there in the way it makes you feel unsettled, and it’s there in the mystery of the song. This is how electronica should be done.

The info

The second Scenius album – ‘Life Is A Thing’ – is out on 19th May.
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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.