tsx – recur²

Posted: 12 April 2020 in Albums
Tags: , , , , , ,

farmersmanual – 17th April 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

‘Tissy solves for x, called tsx by friends, is the youngest avatar used by Oswald Berthold of farmersmanual, CD_slopper and pxp. Despite so many pseudonyms already available it became necessary once more to spawn a new ID because simply better fit.’ So begins the press release for recur² by tsx. I don’t even know what the fuck that means, and I haven’t even hit ‘play’ yet.

The press blurb informs us that ‘recur² is tsx’s third release since the debut recur published 2017 in the Trust label’s e-series – recur² is nine tracks sparkling and brut, four of them iced with as-usual awesome vocals by Sue Tompkins taken through farmersmanual’s autovoice tool – finished off by an amazing hi-speed hi-res video for the featured instrumental ’shallow miswant no rid’’. I’m still little the wiser.

The majority of this album’s nine tracks consists of clanking, bleeping, blooping sythniness and shuffling, melting beats that mine deep grooves that warp and weft, pinning themselves to a small space and focusing on the tonal and the textural over linearity or progression. The result is somewhat claustrophobic, even frustrating – or maybe I’m just projecting. I may not have been on the level of lockdown that prevents me leaving the house to exercise or to acquire foodstuffs, but frustration and claustrophobia and a sense of stasis have seeped into every corner of my life at the time of writing, and it’s bound to colour my perception, especially when presented with a musical suite like this, which presents a combination of depersonalised electronic instrumentation and veritable gibberish that speaks to the incoherent internal dialogue of imprisonment.

The pieces, with their impenetrable and oftentimes nonsensical titles, are all short, almost fragmentary, the majority spanning two to three minutes ‘uouh’ is the first of four which feature Sue Tompkins’ vocals, here manifesting as a sort of cracked, witchy drawl which, given its organic feel, sits at odds with the crisp digital tones. ‘Been Fly Void’ ripples digital abstractions, pulsations and undulations that stop, start, and stutter haltingly while Tompkins’ breathy vocal croon contrasts on an other-worldly level.

It’s hard to know precisely what to make of this under any circumstance, but in the context of a world gone mad, it probably makes more sense than perhaps it otherwise would.



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