ALBUM: Fallen Clouds
LABEL: Tympanik Audio
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
The new album from this Netherlands-based project has the perfect title: its ambient tones drift past the eardrums, as temporary and as insubstantial as clouds, while its beats and clicks and glitches crackle like electricity in the air during a summer thunderstorm. Starting off with the subtle tones and bits of scratchy rhythm of "Ith," the album segues into "Drain the Clouds," at first thin and quiet, then gradually more cut up and complex, the rhythms mutating and evolving into new forms. "Oppose" is softer than cotton candy, its beats so quiet they're almost obscured by the thin film of synthesizer floating over them, while "Nail Cut" and "Short Dresses" move into more bass-driven rhythmic territory. Tapage moves from lonely yet blissful ambiance to darker territory on occasion, as on "Dark Clouds Adrift" and moody, piano-tinged "The Silent Hours," but by and large this is mellow stuff, complex but not abrasive, and so understated that even the barest moments of emotion, like the nostalgic synth-violin on "ML7W," seem almost sentimental in comparison to their surroundings. It's that masterful subtlety that makes this album such a joy to listen to, and fans of experimental techno in the vein of Aphex Twin's earlier ambient work will especially appreciate it.
Visit Tapage on MySpace at www.myspace.com/odakim .
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