Exposé Online banner

Romain Collin — Tiny Lights...
(XM Records no#, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-01-03

Tiny Lights... Cover art

Romain Collin’s Tiny Lights… is a release that is very hard to summarize. Some parts are beautifully orchestrated chamber works with piano and strings: others veer into electronic rock with quirky synthesizers, electronic drums, and insistent electric guitars; at times it’s high-tech progressive rock along the lines of Gösta Berlings Saga or Panzerpappa. The group is nominally a piano trio with Collin on piano (plus Moog Taurus bass synth and vocals), Obed Calvaire on drums (and electronic percussion), and Matthew Stevens on electric guitar, though the end result sounds nothing like a piano trio. While all the tunes are built around Collin’s piano, his parts are mostly composed, and it is Stevens’ guitar that gets to veer off with mangling effects, atonal lines, and unexpected detours. The one thing that’s constant throughout all the album’s moods is the intelligence and appeal of the compositions. Collin does have a background in jazz, but Tiny Lights… doesn’t sound like jazz at all — and that’s alright. Good music doesn’t need genre labels, and I don’t see why anyone should criticize this music because it ignores their expectations. Every track has a distinct identity and mood, and every one of them is a gem.

Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Romain Collin

Latest news

Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

A Triggering Myth - Between Cages – This is the third outing for the keyboard propelled duo of Rick Eddy and Tim Drumheller, collectively known as A Triggering Myth. For anyone familiar with their previous two efforts (a self-titled...  (1996) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues