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Siinai – 'Supermarket' album review

A tribute to convenience stores that creates magic from the mundane

A trip to Lidl: not that exciting, right? Siinai are here to make you reconsider. After saluting sporting achievement with their awesome (and well-timed) 2012 album ‘Olympic Games’, the four-piece from Helsinki are back with 48 minutes of synth-led instrumental magic celebrating the not-so-humble supermarket.

Yes, it’s a concept album – but though there’s a loose narrative arc here (the first track is punningly called ‘En-Trance’, the last ‘Exit’), the effect isn’t linear but cumulative and repetitive. ‘Shopping Trance’ is a great example of this, evoking the neon-lit hypnotism of a 3am wander through your local megastore: insistently looping bass, pummelling drums and sparkling electronics conjure the mental image of an infinite, dreamlike, gleaming branch of Tesco.

There’s something very Kraftwerk about this celebration of the apparently mundane. The German electro masters exalted in crucial and often overlooked elements of modern, western life, from the ‘Autobahn’ to the ‘Pocket Calculator’. Siinai pull off the same trick here, making vivid, glistening, transcendent music out of humdrum routine. You’ll never look at a deli counter the same way again.
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