Words by Mark Wakeman
Held by Scenius is an interestingly sparse piece of synthesizer/electronic pop music with nods to the classic European synth-pioneer artists like Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre;
Elements of the more ambient instrumental moments of bands like Pink Floyd and hints of New Romantic keyboard sounds take it up to the more recent chill-out trance music of the late 1990's.
This is an instrumental piece and an interesting taster for the music that this Anglo-French duo from Leeds can create. Scenius is a cross between Scene and Genius, and was a word used by another Electronic Music Pioneer Brian Eno of Roxy Music who later became a top producer, so they do certainly know the history and have made a nice nod to the sort of music that inspired them.
I decided not to listen to more of their output as I was asked to review this song so I am sticking to just that. The song wouldn't be an obvious single to me but would certainly be a very solid album track or part of an EP and any live performance. It would certainly be a perfect song to play in a club on a night dedicated to the genre of music Scenius create. Whilst an instrumental of this quality may not be an immediately accessible piece of music to a lot of people, there is still a significant fanbase who will like this kind of music, despite it not being something I would immediately be drawn to listen to. I can see where the band are coming from with their music and the sound that they wish to convey and the sort of influences that I can personally see in their music. They are clearly an accomplished duo and if and when I listen to more of their output I would expect to be able to appreciate the skill and dedication to their music that they clearly have. Held may not have the pulling power to get them a lot of new fans, but it showcases their music nicely and is a solid part of any setlist or on any LP; Held is one of those songs that would always make the cut in the mid-top half of a track listing.