Nov 2011 15

Tapage & Meander - Etched in SaltTapage & Meander
Category: Ambient / Electronica
Album: Etched in Salt
Stars: 1.5
Blurb: An ambient pileup that no one will stop for.

 

Aside from a page on Tympanik Audio’s website, there is very little official information available about this electronic duo. But if the quality of this album is any indication, there isn’t much demand for it. The tracks on Etched in Salt are more a mess of sounds than a cohesive audio unit.

The few promising melodies are buried under clashing drums and other random, irritating sound effects. On “Nectocalyx Barrage,” the beautiful light synth with a smoothly rising and falling tone is marred by intermittent beeps and repetitive fuzzy drums. Instead of putting the synth melody front and center, where it can be enhanced with different sound effects, it’s relegated to the background while the grating beeps grow louder. The compelling fast and manic synth on “Plankton” is ruined by excessive repetition to the point where it sounds like a song struggling to start but encountering mechanical difficulties.

The most successful ambient has different sounds that flow together, informing and enhancing each other to evoke a sense of place or mood. But on “Tolopea,” with static drums and space-age synth thrown together, and “California Blue,” with an off-base fuzzy drum beat and whistle effects that sound more like urban white noise than electronica music, as on much of this album, there is no sense of mood. It doesn’t even achieve the creative and captivating dissonance of the better electro artists. It just sounds like the musicians threw as many different sounds together as they could just to see what would happen. And, aside from a few bright spots, like the interesting staccato drumbeat and string-like synth on “Atolla Wyvillei” (also ruined by a far too busy combination of drums), the experiment was not a success.

Track list:

  1. I Found
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  3. The Tide
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  6. Subumbrella Dispute
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  8. Atolla Wyvillei
  9. Oceanographic
  10. Nectocalyx Barrage
  11. Osedax
  12. Abyssal Plain
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Tapage MySpace http://www.myspace.com/taapaagee
Tapage Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/tapage/251467499619
Tapage Twitter http://www.twitter.com/tapage
Tapage SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com/tapage
Meander/DJ Ophidian Website http://www.ophidian.dj
Meander/DJ Ophidian MySpace http://www.myspace.com/djophidian
Meander/DJ Ophidian Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ophidian/23551015886
Meander/DJ Ophidian Twitter http://www.twitter.com/djophidian
Tympanik Audio Website http://tympanikaudio.com
Tympanik Audio MySpace http://myspace.com/tympanik
Tympanik Audio Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tympanik-Audio/137795642739
Tympanik Audio Twitter http://twitter.com/tympanik

Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
CDBaby

2010-11-08

Elizabeth Green (salomedesade)

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