I look to my right and see a pasty faced guy in a red hooded top crouched over a moog synthesizer. He talks into a silver microphone, but what he says doesn’t appear to be human. Around him, in the corner of the bar are chin strokers and slow motion head nodders, they seem to be getting this. I’m not fully comprehending or even understanding what is going on. This isn’t music. It isn’t noise. It just lingers in the background.
After three listens of Tipped Bowls I’m thinking similar thoughts. Or am I really thinking about anything? Because house soundscapes don’t move me too much, like David from Prometheus I am incapable of feeling anything when confronted with such grim electronic artificiality.
Nick Eriksen, the man behind the Taragana Pyjarama moniker mixes existential samples, the drip drip of water running, the distant anxious sound of someone drawing a sharp intake of breath on ‘Growing Forehead’. It sounds like something Justus Köhncke might make after undergoing a lobotomy. When listening to the track I feel like I’ve been locked in a conservatory after getting my lime soda spiked with something nasty, hallucinating, writhing on a coarse doormat, in pain as my back reddens. I then mount the nearby plant pot, imagining it to resemble the smooth curvaceous body of some pesky harlot, as another woman brainlessly repeats “Your attentions, your reflections, my expectations”.
Everything is efficient, and dull; ‘Lo Ng’ reminds me of a walk through a factory that produces Tupperware. I suppose ‘Pinned (Part 1) is a little like two rusty robots making awkward love, which could appeal to a certain audience, who are into that sort of thing. It’s just that Eriksen is such a polished producer, that he seems to have taken the element of awe away from his music. No matter what sub-genre he dwells in, and how he fits under the big blue umbrella of ambient electronic composition, there still must be an element of surprise, a wow factor I suppose, which is either triggered for the listener as they listen to the music in a calm environment, or if they are experimenting with psychoactive substances. It’s more ok, this music is happening, it’s here, but I can’t quite engage with it in any way. I’m transplanted back to the bar once again. Am I missing something?
I mean, you can go back and listen to Juan Atkins’ ‘Urban Tropics’ and see how repetitive minimalist techno had life to it if you’re looking into tracing the roots that have led to this diluted audio torture, you can also check out Eriksen’s Kompakt labelmate Superpitcher and encounter something truly dynamic, which puts this album into some kind of context. In comparison Taragana Pyjarama is unstimulating, oddly soothing in an anesthetized way, hypnotic in the most guileful sense.
3Richard Wink's Score