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<b>Artist: </b>Animal Trainer
<b>Release Title:</b> Wide
<b>Label:</b> Stil vor Talent
<b>Catalogue No.:</b> SVT124
It has always been the great artist duos that really turned the wheels of cultural history: Ying and Yang, Laurel and Hardy, Siegfried and Roy. The latter’s connection to Animal Trainer definitely can’t be denied. While Siegfried and Roy might be taming white tigers though, Animal Trainer are specialising in vinyl and the dancing crowd. Both children of the illustrious nightlife of trend capital Zurich, Adrian Flavor and Samy Jackson have made a name for themselves with their Rakete parties, held mostly at their home base, the chic Hive club, as well as many other locations in and around Switzerland. As dedicated music lovers and passionate entertainers, it was a natural progression for the duo to channel their constant appetite for music and endless parties into their own sounds. Thus, their first baby steps were released on Stil vor Talent in the form of ‘Talkshow’ in 2008.
Today, in February 2014, after numerous releases on renowned labels such as Katermukke, Dantze, Off Recordings or their own Hive Audio, the joyous duo is presenting the debut album ‘Wide’ on Stil vor Talent. Over the course of the thirteen tracks featured, Animal Trainer reveal their playful side as ‘Wide’ isn’t just dominated by dance floor tracks. Thus, one encounters a healthy pop affinity, big melodies, refreshing deep house ballads, musical downtempo and a pinch of polka.
The opener ‘Come Along’ offers itself as a wonderfully mellow starting point thanks to its dreamy textures of warming acoustic guitars, soft trumpet notes and Jimi Jules’ unique voice. Next, the energy starts building gradually: while ‘How Does it Feel’ pairs the r’n’b vox of Natasha Waters with areal melodies and an accessible bass-line, ‘Killed You’ feels more upbeat due to its diva vocals and synth arpeggios. ‘Gone 4 Ever’ then turns out to be classic deep house through and through – the merry strings that sweeten the break are particularly convincing here. Animal Trainer show a completely new side to their productions on the excellent electronica track ‘The Walk’, on which dub chords pulsate through a broken beat structure and creaking synths. The fragile piano does, however, steal the show.
After ‘Shane’ goes around dressed in a classicistic house outfit, ‘Pollen’ is directing us towards the peak time. Here, elements of neo-trance dance on top of a lush beat and driving percussion – a climax in any DJ set, no doubt. Jan Blomqvist subsequently lends his distinctive voice to the ballad ‘Keep Control’, supported by a beautifully fluid piano melody. On ‘Krambambuli’ and ‘Crashed Tuesday’ Animal Trainer then put the foot on the pedal once more, as fun is the priority. Hence, both tracks feel like they are made with the Hive club in mind, which can’t be a coincidence. The title-track ‘Wide’ simultaneously manifests itself as a gloriously quirky trumpet-epos as well as the album’s undisputable highlight. Big emotions for the head and heart! Lastly, the trance-disco-groover ‘Everybody’ and the humorous electro-polka ‘My Town feat. Otoridia’ bid us farewell. As the last accordion notes ring out, one thing is certain: wild animals aren’t easy to tame, and in Animal Trainer’s case that’s great news.