Marc Houle will kick off 2017 with the launch of a new three-part album series on his own Items & Things label. An autobiographical studio project, the three albums cross several moods and styles, showing the different sides of Marc Houle, both as a person and as an artist. In the first album of the trilogy, entitled Sinister Mind, the Canadian artist serves up nine storytelling tracks that once again stand as a fine testament to his studio skills. This most evocative long player starts off with Dont Think of Me, a paranoid cut with chattery claps, brooding bass and foreboding vocals that is brilliantly unsettling. The title cut then settles into a mid-tempo techno groove as synths thunder in the background. It is a sparse and moody affair that speaks of desolate urban landscapes. From there, Maskatron builds the pressure with gurgling bass, alien percussive sounds and more unsettled grooves before Loafers gets trippy with some modulating synths that burrow deep into your brain, and Failure resets the mood with a super slow motion dark wave synth cut that has echoing vocals drifting off to the distance. This is an album that marries sci-fi imagery with derelict metropolitan soundscapes. It is evocative and escapist and is a fantastic way to start off this trilogy.