Hot Coins: The Damage is Done – album review

hot coins damage

Hot Coins-The Damage is Done (Sonar Kollektiv)
CD/DL/Double LP
Out 28th January 2013

Hot Coins takes LTW’s Nick Wood back a few decades in music history, and on an aural trip to Germany and NYC.

When the opening gambit of a release is “An estranged homage to late 70s NYC anti-culture, realized through the eyes of a Scottish born electronic musician living in modern day Berlin,” you can help but feel you’re onto something either really special or bloody awful! This is the first offering from Danny Berman, better known as Red Rack’ems

However, we find ourselves safe in the something special category here, kicking off with the Pet Shop Boys covering Blondie sounding ‘Geek Emotions’. Squelching bass, cold sounding retro synth and monotone female vocals; it’s a great choice for first single and a great start to the album. A more natural sounding drum kicks off track two, ‘The Only Way’, which sounds like Kraftwerk trying to be very pop.


The lovely sounding retro synths continue into track three, and there is a definite clubby sound to “New Beat”. There are nice reverb drenched vocals all over this track and I can see this getting played in clubs all over Europe this coming summer. It’s the final track I loved the most, ‘I Ching’. It’s a great chilled out end to the album, for some reason reminding me of a John Carpenter soundtrack that had been remixed. Great stuff.

The 80’s feel continues throughout the album, although I struggled to hear the No Wave influence, instead hearing more of a Berlin feel to the album. Mr Bowie’s late 70’s influence runs throughout and that, of course, is no bad thing. My one complaint is that the album seems to drag in the middle due to the lack of tempo change. There’s also a sneaking Basement Jaxx and Jamiroquai (Is that how you spell that awful bands name?) influence bubbling under the surface, which whilst not top of my list of favourite music, it seems to work here.

Not sure about some of the lyrics, but that could just be down to the fact I’m a bit old for “Loser Geek wins!” lyrics. All in all a great retro electronic album to kick of 2013 and an artist we should all be keeping an eye on. I look forward to some interesting remix work as well.

Hot Coins has a Facebook and official webpage for your online reading and listening pleasure.

Words by Nick Wood. More writing by Nick on Louder Than War can be found here.

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