Start Breaking My Heart from Manitoba is the debut work of a twenty-two year old from Toronto named Dan Snaith. With a master?s degree in mathematics, he also has classical and jazz piano training, he plays guitars and keyboards, and combines basic elements with computer trickery. Start Breaking My Heart is instrumental. Is       is is is

Hardly an outing of cold, scholarly electro precision, Manitoba has been likened to, or said to be modeled after Aphex Twin. And Mum. Or, part of the same music category. Yes. But. Less ambient than the first, more welcoming than the latter. Notably soft, Start Breaking My Heart does not feel second-generation. Where they create a hazy cloud of half-remembered dreams, Manitoba's music is direct, unassuming and still evocative. More likely to provoke thoughtful contemplation than disco dancing.

This is experimental electronica made easy. Made attractive. Made desirable. Please drown me in this music. Electronic-organic music built of grace and dexterity stimulating and soothing you into it all at once. No contradiction; it would be an easy death.

Harps? Horns? He has those, and he has jazz squiggles and looping electronica and a beat beat beat like hollow popping. Not harsh. Not pounding. But loud and good and turning walking into striding, or walking better into loping. Long slow strokes of feet, even rhythm moving. Keep walking. Bopping. Rich vibes, and they are dark blue. This means cool. This means dark. This means deep blue music that feels like swimming. Or maybe flying through dark night air. Clear. I will keep giving you words in attempt to give you some idea. Of how it might feel. How am I doing.

Glorious. Invigorating. From somewhere between extremes of minimalist melody and abstract trickery he weaves guitars and hand percussion and children into something that moves friendly through rhythm and counter-rhythm.

Inventive but still comfortably familiar, it is magic. It is a picture that makes perfect sense. It is ten tracks ? ten beautiful dreams (each worth its own) falling into a larger dream. Like a dream without aim, or a dream with exquisite aim Mr. Manitoba wanders, stringing melodies with abstract simplicity, pouring hot and cold music glinting. Liquid coal, cool.

Dan Snaith is a proof that classical music is not a dead end, nor incompatible with the use of samplers, keyboards and drum machines. Also: he is not so only smooth well-behaved music as you would think. Right into his melancholic story he jumps in furious with deluge of sound collisions, with complex jazz structures, casing it all still in carefully chosen beats.

It is machine-music he is offering, but nowhere like it. Not robotic. Vivid. Smooth. Dreams like fully realized moments. Drowning softly.

Track Listing:

  1. Dundas, Ontario
    Smooth and dark, easing you into the beginning of delight.
  2. People Eating Fruit
    Rolling rhythm takes you sailing further.
  3. Mammals Vs. Reptiles
    When comfortably deep down underwater, start synth-snaring you into more delight. Rousing.
  4. Brandon
    And calm again. Blue.
  5. Children Play Well Together
    They do.
  6. Lemon Yoghurt
    Does this track make your heart go into spasms like you could plotz? It should.
  7. James' Second Haircut
    Nothing like a haircut. Maybe like a rainshower.
  8. Schedules & Fares
  9. Paul's Birthday
  10. Happy Ending
    Happy indeed. Short and sweet, like a period.Or a postscript.

and this, from a review at www.nme.com : "Manitoba will break your heart. But it'll feel like a kiss."

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