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Thursday, September 1, 2011

V/A - "Emerging Organisms 4"

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Emerging Organisms 4
Year: 2011
Label: Tympanik
Genre: IDM, Ambient, Technoid, Dubstep, Shoegaze
Website: www.tympanikaudio.com
this album on discogs: here


This is the newest in the series of Emerging Organisms compilations from Tympanik Audio.
Like the previous compilations, the focus is on atmospheric and emotive IDM; however, on this edition the dubstep and shoegaze influence is more apparent. It looks like Tympanik is shooting to become the successor to N5MD and/or Ad Noiseam. Not a bad path at all.

Good Stuff:
+ Disc 1. The first disc opens with a rather boring, shoegaze-y drone track from Hecq. It serves as a good intro to set the mood, I suppose, although the extremely abrupt ending is obnoxious. Up next is Architect doing his trademark blend of IDM and dubstep. Access to Arasaka follows with a beat-heavy track that manages to sound rather different from his other work; it starts off slow, but builds momentum and gets great about halfway through. It's nice to hear a new track from Ab Ovo's Diaphane, especially considering that it's good and certainly could have fit on his excellent debut album. The atmospheric IDM mood continues through the Frank Riggio and To Travel Without Any Certain Destination (thankfully a huge departure from his terrible power noise project last days of s.e.x.) tracks. Displacer changes things up a bit with a very...Displacer-y...sounding track. It's nice to see him moving back towards a percussive IDM sound. Things get a bit more somber with an extremely atmospheric, moody piece from Stendeck alongside a great, crunchy piece from Dryft that is reminiscent of the old Gridlock - 'Further' sound, layered with the huge, modern Cadoo-style pads. Nebulo delivers a more tranquil piece with subdued atmosphere and lots of clicky percussion. Up until this point, I was familiar with all of the artists on the disc, however I don't know any of the final four. Regardless, I should know better than to doubt Paul Nielsen, as he has compiled a disc which does not stop kicking until the very end. Ocoeur and Boy Is Fiction both deliver strong, emotional and very atmospheric IDM pieces. Logical Disorder delivers a more mechanical sounding track, though still beautifully atmospheric, with a hint of industrial influence delivered through crunchy bits of percussion. The first disc ends with a fitting piece from new Tympanik signee Erode; it opens with a long brooding ambient section before opening up into pensive, dark IDM.

+ Disc 2. The first disc is an extremely promising affair, and is certainly a difficult act to follow, however the second disc is equally as strong. It opens up with a fucking brilliant downtempo, tribal-tinged, track from Subheim.
Up next, Miroslav delivers an n5md-style IDM track with long ambient intro which breaks into chaotic IDM. A decent track, but plagued by weak production. The follow up track is Keef Baker, and he takes the same idea but develops it further and much more spaciously, adding fantastic piano lines and soaring melodic sections. Tapage provides a clicky idm/ambient track with acid influence, which seems and is in fact weird, although he pulls it off. Up next is KiloWatts who offers a dark track that is thick with cavernous reverb and very interesting, melodious jazz-y bits. Matta provides a song that sounds very Matta-y, with pling-y synths and subtle cut up vocals, although the low end is definitely much more subdued than usual, which actually helps it to fit in with the rest of this comp quite well. Port Royal follows. Let me say that I'm not really a fan of shoegaze nor post-rock, but this track is so goddamn beautiful and sad. Wonderful, refined vocals are mixed with fuzzy, melancholy atmospherics and kind of straight forward, albeit fitting, electronic percussion. SE keeps with the post-rock mood and provides a track with quiet beats and loads of guitar plucking. Mobthrow is kind of in the same boat as Matta here; he delivers a track that focuses more on atmosphere and less on his usually heavy bass. This track is not too far off from the vinyl we recently reviewed. Great attenuated use of subbass mixed with a wonderful, spacious atmosphere. Things get back to IDM with Flaque and a huge, beautifully melodic track featuring excellent cut up female vocals from one of my personal favorite up-and-coming IDM producers: c.db.sn. Unfortunately, Disc 2 ends on a low note and the final three tracks are varying degrees of mediocre. The Anklebiter track is very melodic, emotional and dynamic, but suffers from weak, claustrophobic production. The Bola track is worth a listen, but it is on the weaker side of the spectrum.

Bad stuff:
- Honestly, there is very little to say about this collection that is negative. Paul Neilsen, aka Mr. Tympanik, has compiled one of the best compilations I have ever heard, one-upping himself yet again. If I had to make critiques, I would say that I was a little disappointed with the Hecq track; I know everyone loves his stuff, but I find his ambient to be too minimal and boring. The Dj Sajko remix of C.H.District is mediocre, but pales in comparison to the original.

This is an incredible collection of music. Even the producers whose other work I have not liked came through and delivered excellent, memorable tracks for this. If you are a fan of IDM/ambient/whatever than you *NEED* to own this CD. Despite being a young label, I think this collection easily equals, if not surpasses, any compilations put out on the "big" labels: hymen, n5md, ad noiseam, etc.

Overall Rating:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Totaly agree with all words here! I have no words to describe how is amazing Subheim's track Mir50!