Album Reviews

Album Review: Sebastian – Total (Because Music/Ed Banger)

By | Published on Tuesday 17 May 2011


Sebastian – or SebastiAn as he will always be known to me – has been around for a while now, releasing the odd EP here and there, and doing remixes for artists like Kelis and Daft Punk, but now here comes his debut artist album – all 22 tracks of it – via the nigh-on legendary Ed Banger Records label, home to artists like Uffie and Justice.

From the off this record’s style is distinctly French, with those 80s-style drums and synths, but that isn’t to say its formulaic – far from it. Opener ‘Hudson River’ is lusciously grand, like walking into a surprise birthday party at the Palace Of Versailles. Naturally, with 22 songs to fit in, a lot of them aren’t as long as you’d perhaps want them to be. ‘Tough Games’, for instance, is aggressive and crunchy and is a real mover, but it’s a meagre 40 seconds long. But not to worry, directly after that comes ‘Embody’, a smooth track with bright chords and pleasantly robotised vocals. Sebastian’s ability to switch from those hard dance head-shakers to a more subdued hip hop/electro sound is impressive, and shows a clever versatility.

There’s a lot going on here, and if you don’t like some of it, you’re bound to like the rest of it, such is Sebastian’s diversity. The penultimate song is an old favourite, ‘Doggg’, complete with superfluous ‘G’s, and is a fittingly mental end to wonderfully bi-polar record. JJB

Physical release: 30 May