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|02 December 2016||
Ténèbre - Territory I
French artist Ténèbre who is currently based in Seoul can definitely strike one as a strong individualist and a person of a DIY mindset. Rather than addressing other labels to send them his demos, in Spring of 2014 he has established his own, independent imprint - Ténèbre Audio, and has since been releasing on it single-handedly. And it was probably the right decision, because otherwise his truly unique and multi-instrumental production style would be at risk of drowning in a sea of other artists' music, had he opted to get signed on an already known and crowded label. Territory I is his sixth release on a label, and to peak a bit forward into the review we will tell you that we are as happy with it as we were with the previous five.
Tribalistic 125 BPM opener Khanate is a quite esoteric piece - it greets us with syncopated kicks and toms, panned egg shakers, ancient horns, jazz-redolent hats, and a highly detalized background environment. It's an organic, naturalistic composition pertaining to one of the subsets of world music which was given a substantial boost in dancing value with Ténèbre's signature drums; very imaginative and inspirational! Grid Expansion rises two BPM points up and its thudding 4/4 kicks let us know what sound direction has been taken this time - it's more of a club-oriented number: panned, scissoring hats, metallic, soft stabs resembling water dripping and samples of quietly revolving cogs enrich the track as a playful, gentle melody serves it for a bassline. Of Rust elevates a further BPM point and reveals breakbeat-structured, tribal toms, panned, sandy clicks and shakers, and a low-key oscillation in mid-range. What follows are slowly rising and falling, suspenseful ambient fields, moderately distorted, roaring basslines, and subtle, panned, syncopated dry hats. Return At Point Zero speeds up to 132 BPM and gives us a steady, but slightly more muffled and widened 4/4 arrangement of drums, multiple layers of both syncopated and evenly-running hats, countless samples of bewildering, hissing, dripping, breathing sounds that morph from liquid to ethereal forms on the go, and a mesmerizing, groovy bassline that successively ping-pongs with delay in both channels.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 2 December 2016
Release Format: Digital
Record Label • Catalog: Ténèbre Audio • TENEBRE006