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NZ Music Month

May 2010 | tvnz.co.nz

Trei - 'Innuendo'


By Joachim Hackshaw

Artist: Trei
Album: Innuendo
Genre: drum and bass
Rating: 9/10


Still a couple of months shy from its second anniversary, New Zealand drum and bass label Samurai Music has already forged a solid reputation for high quality music with the electronica community.

Despite this reputation, Trei's Innuendo is only Samurai Music's second foray into the commercial market. The first being the label showcase, Way of the Samurai

With the label being run out of Wellington it is rather fitting that local lad Trevor Linnell, aka Trei, deals with the weight of expectation of being the first artist to release a full-length solo album on the fledgling label.

Linnell has dealt with that in the best way possible. It's no exaggeration to say that he has come up with something truly special with Innuendo, which will be released on Monday September 21.

Click here to be in to win one of five copies of Innuendo

I could wax lyrical about sonic scapes and banging drums that will devastate dance floors, or deep baselines and well crafted electronic elements that give his music real depth, but it's easier to say that this album is everything that's great about drum and bass and nothing that isn't.

Trei's trademark melodic style has bought outstanding results in both the mellow numbers - fit for the mid-afternoon reach for the barbeque tongs - and the more uptempo numbers - more suited to the mid-morning reach for the lasers. (You can see how well the more uptempo numbers work in the mix with a free promotional mix Trei put together for drum and bass discussion forum Dogs on Acid .)

Standouts on Innuendo include powerful driving riffs of the title track, the soulful vocals of Lisa Tomlins on Still Remains, the sub genre defying Sleepless, featuring Teknik and the infectious piano melodies and poping percussion on Day Away.

Special mention goes to Lead Me On. the track sums up the albums blend of infections melody, clever drum work, driving riffs and deep baselines. All this is complemented to perfection by the uplifting vocal contribution of Thomas Oliver. (I predict fans of electronic music will be hearing a lot of this tune through spring and right into the summer festival season.)

I am wary that I don't want to run the risk of appearing too soft as a reviewer - I gave David Dallas'  Something Awesome a 9 out of 10 in my last review  - but what can I say? New Zealand is on fire right now.

Innuendo still gets a 9 despite my image concerns. The only thing holding me back from labelling this the best full length drum and bass release to come out of New Zealand is the need for time to put it into perspective ... watch this space.

And it looks like I'm not the only person who thinks Lead Me On is rather good, take a look at the official music video, which is itself an incredibly rare feat - a New Zealand On Air funded drum and bass video that isn't made by Shapeshifter.


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