Moomin's records, like most on Smallville, sound immediately familiar. You know what you're getting into when putting one on: delicate drums, emotive strings, whispering horns, pads that smudge like watercolour. That's never been a problem for Moomin—his sound is eminently likeable, hard to deny even if it's not your cup of tea. He has a knack for drums that hit like the pitter-patter of soft paws, and an ear for chopping samples that comes from his hip-hop background.
The opening song on Moomin's debut album, The Story About You, said a lot about the Berlin house producer's approach. Its looped Rhodes keys were tentative and misty, and its drum programming skipped just so; the rhythm folded in the sloshing of waves and the looped cries of seagulls, sounds that imbued the song with an unmistakable pang of wistfulness, while the title, "Doobiest," scanned as slightly tongue in cheek. Did it refer to marijuana? Yacht rock? (From the sound of things, probably a little bit of each.) The gulls reappear on "123," the opening track on A Minor Thought, his second LP for Hamburg's Smallville label.
Things can often feel a little cloudy upon first awakening in the morning: thoughts drift in and out of focus; plans are made and then quickly forgotten. Moomin has dedicated his entire career to capturing that feeling in 4/4 time. That consistency hasn't wavered on his second full-length, A Minor Thought, to the point that opening track "123" shares the same samples of seagulls and waves lapping the shore found at the beginning of his debut album, The Story About You, right before the arrival of a similarly skittering drum pattern.
Moomin returns with his distinctive analog grooves on A Minor Thought, his new album for Hamburg-based Smallville Records. Like its predecessor The Story About You, the sounds and samples here have a warm organic glow that will appeal to house fans who prefer a more vintage tone. Traditionalist approaches like this can sometimes yield unimaginative results, but though he sometimes treads close, Moomin escapes this pitfall.Most of these tracks are built around a handful of tastefully chosen samples that coalesce as Moomin's beats ebb and flow beneath.