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|05 June 2017||
Tetsumasa - Obake EP
Tetsumasa steps forth to join the impressive—not to mention exclusive—Arboretum roster for its 5th release since the label's inception in 2014. Lucky for us then, it is quality rather than quantity that has become synonymous with this extraordinary Italian imprint.
The opener Steeroll is, without doubt, a quite rawkus affair: Tetsumasa carves out a grotesque, lumbering beast, with its staggering, half-stepped, multi layered percussion that brings to mind a stampede of elephants, he only manages to keep the monster on its leash by a small margin, with a well placed, sharp, retracting snare that snaps back each time it threatens to break free. For a brief moment, contemplative and metallic chimes set a calming tone before the beast roams free on Marbolo, stretching its legs with a mid-paced, heavy, break-beaten ramble through a bellowing, cinematic drone scape; more chimes then provide contemplative breaks in a dark and moody, self-assured mutant abstraction of dub. Kaiden clearly has an industrial heart which it right away announces with harsh, random noise bursts thrown against a brutal, abrasive backdrop, while being battered by tribal bass drums which provide high energy for either side of a timely break that snarls and growls as if a couple dozen internal combustion engines have lined up on a starting grid for a race through the post techno wastelands. Next on the agenda we have slow-paced, loop-based excursions: Balot is a masterclass of hybridization, a singular, focused example of avant-bass-tech-hop ends up an off-kilter journey that flows quite unlike any other—lurching, skipping and tripping to its conclusion, but not before it spews out a chorus of disturbingly warped harmonic bass. Penultimate track Ishiki sees Tetsumasa team up with the Arboretum label boss, where bass-heavy kicks metamorphose into a wall of quaking distortion amidst a cacophony of twitching, writhing, organic sounds, while Mogano brings his unmistakable, textured noise reverberations and saturating, droning atmospherics; it's a tease for the senses, the fractured melodies and stretched percussion mimic one another beautifully. Finally, Japanese heavyweight Ryo Murakami reworks opening track Steeroll, and with a few careful incisions he turns it into a stripped-down affair, exposing its soft, fleshy inner workings, before hooking them up with a few well-placed electrodes, PCBs and micro switches, breathing new life into the beast and reshaping it into a terrifying, biotech monster.
Obake is a sublime continuation of Tetsumasa's elemental research into organic sound design, and to our great satisfaction, an upholding of highest production standards possible—precisely what we have come to expect from him, as well as the Arboretum imprint and its impressive roster.
Words by b.yond.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 05 June 2017
Release Format: Digital • Cassette
Record Label • Catalog: Arboretum • ARBT001