Rennie Foster, More Songs for Homeless Housers

[Greta Cottage Workshop]

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Here’s a salutary tale for anyone starting up a label and seeking to gain some coverage through the blanket mail-out approach: under no circumstances call your label something that could be mistaken for spam email. This fate almost befell this release by Rennie Foster on the unwieldy sounding Greta Cottage Workshop label. My email program, struggling to decide whether it was yet another ad for penis enlargement or nicotine patches — I really hope that there’s not a subliminal message in there for me — decided to consign it to my spam folder and I only noticed the release during a ritual clean out. Thankfully it wasn’t lost in the ether because More Songs for Homeless Housers shines a fresh light on the talents of Canadian producer Rennie Foster.

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Now based in Japan, Foster has opted for a subtle, at times quite understated approach here, and it works very well. “Nightshade (Belladonna)” is the obvious standout track on this release, its brittle beats and gurgling bass playing host to gloriously cinematic chords that flow fluidly despite the absence of a linear, DJ-friendly accompanying rhythm. Foster adopts a similar approach on “Belladonna (Reprise),” while “Innocence Lost and Regained” also travels a less obvious path with lithe, shuffling break beats revealing ethereal melodic twists and turns. Only the tribal beats and somewhat hackneyed chants of “Afrocentrik” sound redundant, a failure of functionalism on a release where shimmering techno introspection holds sway. Just don’t expect it to make you rich overnight with a questionable investment offer and you’ll be fine.

Adamm  on March 4, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Rennie’s first EP on Greta (003), is also worth a listen. I’ve been playing the hell out of Butterfingers and Waterdrums.

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