Sideways Moves

The C20 cassette Geoid (TANUKI RECORDS #15) is by the Brussels artist Sublyme Diagonal, a fellow who has two other musical identities – one of which involves “mutant hiphop” and the other “untamed musique concrete”’; Geoid is supposed to represent some mid-point between these two extremes. Although interested in techno and electronica, one of his intentions here is to move away from the usual beats, pulsations, rhythms and patterns associated with these genres, and instead suggest all of these elements by carefully layering his synthesised drones, the way a painter might attempt to suggest lines by use of painted tones. The sound he thus produces is not objectionable, but somehow the pieces are lacking in fibre or any sense of logical progression. I’m interested to learn he did it using an analogue multi-track device, perhaps the Fostex pictured on the cover or one like it, but despite the label boast that he is “taking advantage of typical tape hiss and hum,” the surface is largely free from any grain or grit, and there is little that is distinctive about this identikit drone. Intriguingly, there’s supposed to be a hidden symmetry in the composition, such that “each side secretly mirrors the other”, but this structure has not yet revealed itself to me. Sadly, I haven’t been deeply impressed by the catalogue of the Belgian label Tanuki Records to date; they seem to lack a strong identity or purpose. From 4th November 2015.